Porkopolis targets local market for first location outside Arizona

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Goodbye Blizzards, hello brisket.

The former Dairy Queen at 9800 N. Michigan Road in Carmel has closed, soon to be replaced with a barbecue restaurant called Porkopolis.

Porkopolis currently operates two restaurants in the Phoenix area: a Chandler location that opened in 2012 and a Scottsdale location that opened in 2016. The Carmel location is expected to open May 7, according to posts on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

The business was founded by Brady Bogen, Rod McConnell and Matt Hamilton. Bogen is a popular radio host at KUPD-FM 97.9 in Tempe, Arizona, who also developed a line of barbecue sauces and spices, Brady’s Sauce. McConnell is a butcher who opened a retail establishment, Midwestern Meats, in Mesa, Arizona, in 1990. Hamilton is a restaurateur who has operated establishments both in Phoenix and around the United States.

The Porkopolis menu includes smoked beef brisket, pulled pork, turkey, baby back ribs and chicken. The smoked meats are served in sandwiches, platters or by the pound; along with soups, salads and appetizers. Menu items feature Brady’s Sauce products. 

Porkopolis takes its name from Cincinnati’s nickname, which dates to the era when the city was a center for hog processing in the early- to mid-1800s.

Bogen, a Columbus, Ohio, native, said his family tree can be traced to one of the founders of Cincinnati’s pork industry: great-great-great grandfather George Bogen. George’s son Peter was the one who coined the name “Porkopolis” to describe the city, Brady Bogen said. 

A personal connection led the partners to consider the Indiana location, Bogen told IBJ.

Hamilton, an Indiana University graduate, and Gavin Hart, who was franchisee for the Dairy Queen in Carmel, were fraternity brothers at IU. Hart said he wanted to move into a different type of restaurant for his Carmel store, Bogen said.

“He really wanted to do a barbecue concept, so Matt said: ‘Well, you should take a look at the one we’ve got in Phoenix,’” Bogen said. 

Hart will be a majority partner in the Carmel Porkopolis, Bogen said. “We’re always looking for opportunities. This one has a unique twist from an operational standpoint.”

The restaurant that will become Porkopolis opened as a Dairy Queen in fall 2015. It closed Feb. 28.

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