Hog Wild

By Posted on Sep 19 2018 | By

Divine Swine BBQ grilling tasty fun

It’s unusual for an entrepreneur to go from ashes….to ashes. It also highlights a business trait centric to becoming successful: keep on keepin’.

That’s exactly what Todd Eisenhauer is doing. His latest passion is southern styled barbecue produced in concert with long time grill master Tim Marcus.

Eisenhauer, owner of the successful Black Bear Bistro & Brick Oven, opened an upscale butcher shop in 2017 called Black Bear Mercantile at 19 Culpeper Street. For a number of reasons, it didn’t get traction and when an opportunity arose to convert the shop to a barbeque haven, Eisenhauer jumped.

“The shop didn’t work out because I think it was a little bit too high end. It was hard to get people to come down Culpeper Street for something like that. It was disheartening it didn’t work. I was sad to close it down,” said Eisenhauer.

But out of the ashes of the past have come ashes from Apple and Hickory woods used to slow cook the new eatery’s meats. And why is foot traffic better than the butcher shop days? “For one thing, they call smell those ribs,” said Eisenhauer.

Ahh. The old olfactory marketing ploy. Works every time.

Todd Eisenhauer Tim Marcus

Another key to the restaurant’s early success is the man behind the smoker, Tim Marcus. Marcus is an experienced barbecue man with years of grilling under his apron. Prior to linking up with Eisenhauer he ran a successful catering business called…Divine Swine.

Weekends still see him on the road cooking ribs and more for party crowds throughout the region.

“Tim is a great guy. He’s definitely coming into his own as part of a brick and mortar operation instead of just an outside business. He’s making a big difference here. We work well together. We’re having fun and I think it shows in the food we’re doing,” said Eisenhauer.

While the business is just a few months old, the owners are hitting the numbers they projected. With Marcus’ experience in catering it’s also seeing a surge in that segment of the operation.

“We will be doing a lot more catering. I know there are several barbecue shops in town but we’re not trying to be them. We have barbecue burritos, barbecue tacos. I’ve even done a barbecue ‘sushi’ roll with brisket inside with wasabi sauce. There’s going to be a lot of stuff you’re not going to see elsewhere,” said Eisenhauer.

Catering is not limited to nearby offices. Weddings and special events throughout the area are calling on the restaurant to tend to their guests’ needs. Menus can be designed to match a customer’s desires. “And we can drop the food off, or they can pick it up. The chafing dishes can be returned by them or we’ll pick them up. It’s completely up to the customer,” said Eisenhauer.

The shop is also developing an increasing amount of foot traffic from the town’s office denizens. The restaurant seats 15 people but many hungry workers simply pop in, order a carry out lunch and head back to their offices. “If you’re in our place 10 minutes, you’ve been in too long,” said Eisenhauer.

One example of a unique dish created by the entrepreneurs is a ramen bowl prepared with rib broth and fresh vegetables. Customers select grilled pork or chicken to top it off or some even get it with baby back ribs. “It’s dishes like that that are the fusion aspect of our food preparation,” said Eisenhauer.

In the near future, the restaurant will receive its ABC license to sell beer and wine. In addition to featuring Virginia wines, a selection of craft beers will also grace the menu. Pricing will be below what is typically charged for alcohol.

“We want to serve craft beer for $3 or $4. Anywhere else it’s going to be $5 or more. We want to be a relaxed, funky little place where you can grab a couple of beers, get a good sandwich or some ribs, leave happy and you’re not broke,” said Eisenhauer.

Since sauce is the heart of any barbecue operation, a selection is available to slather on the meats to your heart’s delight, including a South Carolina mustard sauce and a jerk sauce. They’ve even got a wasabi sauce. “Eventually will have those items for sale so you can take a bottle with you,” said Eisenhauer.

On Labor Day a new fan was pushing away from the counter with a satisfied look of his face and said, “It’s my first time here and that pulled pork was delicious.” It’s a common refrain heard by the barbecue mavens.

For now the hours of the restaurant will remain Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. but may expand to evening service in the future.

For a full menu and fun facts on how the latest barbecue in town is prepared, drop by

Published in the September 19, 2018 edition of the Fauquier Times.

Categories : HAGARTY TALES