Saturday, April 10, 2021

Porky’s: New Owners, Fresh Ideas



By Natalie Strom

Just call it Porky’s.

The newly owned and newly renovated restaurant was purchased by Bob and Linda Berkowitz in March of this year. Ready to get original, the old name, Porky’s Last Stand, was shortened as the original owners of the landmark Marco restaurant still own a second Last Stand location on US-951. The restaurant theme has stayed the same – meaning delicious ribs, as always – but some great changes have taken place as well.

Bring in Al Landers as the new General Manager, and you know the place is off to a good start. Known for opening 13 restaurants on Marco and revamping numerous others, Al and the Berkowitz’s have teamed up to make Porky’s a top-notch-always-where-you-want-to-stop kind of restaurant.

As one of the famous mottos of McDonalds goes, it always starts with a clean bathroom. Which means that all of the restrooms in Porky’s have been remodeled. Add 20 flat screen tv’s, live music Thursday through Saturday, and baseball and football packages in a bar section that stays open late and serves food until midnight, and you’re off to a good start.

But some things have stayed the same. “We still smoke our barbecue daily; we even smoke it overnight using a blend of different types of wood to give it that true smoky flavor,” explains Landers.

The only change to the barbecue – and any entree, lunch or dinner, on the menu – is that the salad bar now

Bob and Linda Berkowitz, new owners of Porky’s. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Bob and Linda Berkowitz, new owners of Porky’s. SUBMITTED PHOTO

comes free of charge. “It’s always important to have fresh ingredients when you have a salad bar. That’s why we’ve switched to a local produce guy out of Miami.” The salad bar has grown, too. “We went from 15 items on the salad bar to 48. The plates are now cold, rather than warm and we offer homemade corn bread and two different soups daily.”

For those who are looking for something a little less filling, a “lighter side” menu for $7.99 per entree offers diners a meal minus the salad bar. The same menu that includes both lunch and dinner options is available all day, “except the beef brisket. That takes some time to cook, so it’s usually ready around 3 o’clock,” Landers says. But it’s definitely worth the wait.

The family friendly food destination is offering a Bike Giveaway every week throughout the summer. Anyone who dines may enter their child’s name into a raffle, and the winner gets a free bike. It’s as simple as that. “The other day we had a little girl that won and she came in to pick up her bike and she was just so cute.” The restaurant has given away five bikes so far. “We are enjoying giving back,” adds Landers. “Most of these kids that win don’t have a bike so we just love to see how happy it makes them.”

Under the new ownership, the Berkowitz’s, originally of Philadelphia, have offered to

All summer long, Porky’s is giving away a bike a week to a lucky young patron. PHOTOS BY NATALIE STROM

All summer long, Porky’s is giving away a bike a week to a lucky young patron. PHOTOS BY NATALIE STROM

provide lunches to the YMCA summer camp on Mondays and Fridays throughout the summer, averaging about 300 lunches a week. “We do things like grilled cheese, fruit, a side salad and a cookie,” says Landers.

Whether it’s service to the community or service in the restaurant, the quality is top notch. “We have members of our staff who have been here for 15 years or 12 years. We have a staff of about 50, and they are all loyal.”

A staff that sticks around under new ownership and changes is always a sign of a good business owner and good management. This shouldn’t be a surprise as the Berkowitz’s own and run a bar and grill full-time in Philly. Having invested in Marco for over 20 years, the family decided to buy the business, bringing their restaurant experience to Porky’s. They’ve also established a trust in Al to allow him to manage their restaurant while they are away. The trust trickles down throughout the staff and has created a whole new environment in the restaurant.

You can feel the change in the air and smell the barbecue before you even walk through the door.

Porky’s Restaurant is open seven days a week from 11 AM until 9 PM during the summer. The bar is open late, serving food until midnight. Sundays, from 9 AM to 1 PM a brunch is offered. Located at 701 Bald Eagle Drive the new Porky’s may be reached by phone at 239-394-8727.

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