By Melanie Lekocevic
Capital Region Independent Media
RAVENA — The village’s newest businesses are partnering up to offer two local favorites — beer and barbecue.
The Smokin’ Pig Deli & Bakery opened its doors recently on West Shore Road, opposite the town hall and police station, offering barbecue, sandwiches, seafood and desserts.
And they’ve teamed up with Rail to River Brewing, a block away on Main Street, with the two businesses sending customers each other’s way.
“We teamed up with Rail to River Brewing,” deli co-owner Adam Smith said. “They do not serve food but they have our menus there and we deliver food to them, or they come here and pick it up so that way customers can have food in their establishment and have a nice cold beer, as well as help us out.”
Smith co-owns the new deli with Demetrius Bagley, who retired from the restaurant business after 31 years but was looking to take on a new challenge.
“I had three delis at one time and I have been retired,” Bagley said. “I was looking for something and the [building] owner is my cousin. He told me he has a place, so I came down and checked it out. The village of Ravena has really opened its arms to us.”
While the deli has a range of food choices, their specialty is barbecue.
“Right now we are known for our barbecue,” Bagley said. “We smoke every day, we have new items that we add every day. We do paninis and subs and we do all seafood on Fridays. And our dessert specialty is our pie.”
Smith and Bagley worked together in the restaurant business for some time and decided to team up to open Smokin’ Pig Deli & Bakery together. The new business brings something unique to Ravena, Smith said.
“There is nothing like this here, but I think it is a place to bring families together with homemade food,” Smith said.
Deputy Mayor Nancy Warner said it is gratifying to see another new business coming to the village.
“This is very exciting,” Warner said. “I have heard nothing but rave reviews about their food and I am excited to try some. So far, the chowder has been excellent. I think advertising is going to be the key to their success.”
There have been several businesses in the building on West Shore Road, but because it is tucked away off Main Street, creating awareness has been a challenge, Warner said.
“Other businesses have been here but people didn’t know about them so getting the word out, sharing and advertising, is going to be their key because they’ve got the great food down pat,” she added.
Village Trustee Linda Muller noted there have been numerous new businesses moving into the village and the growth has had a ripple effect.
“This year, because of all the new businesses that have been coming in, it is making people stay in our village,” Muller said. “It is making people eat in our village, make friends in our village and in their neighborhood — I am very excited about it. With the partnership between this and Rail to River, and having a space to eat and have a nice beer with a pulled pork sandwich, I don’t think there is anything better than that.”
Steven Douglas, owner of Rail to River Brewing, said the combination, and teamwork, works great.
“Beer and barbecue are a great pairing so when people come to the brewery and they are looking for something to eat, we tell them there is a brand new place up the street with beautiful food, excellent barbecue and deli sandwiches and some desserts, so we send them up the street,” Douglas said. “And in turn, if they have people that want a beer, they send them to us. It’s a very symbiotic relationship.”
Working together to support growth in the village is good to see, said Rebecca Flach from the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Community Business Association.
“We are excited — there is enthusiasm and businesses are supporting one another,” Flach said. “It is so cool to see businesses supporting each other and encouraging growth like this.”