Tri-Cities-based Porter’s Real Barbecue opening restaurant in Spokane

A popular Tri-Cities-based barbecue restaurant chain is expanding to Spokane this fall.

Porter Kinney, his wife, Kate, and business partner, Amol Kohli, are opening Porter’s Real Barbecue later this year in a nearly 1,800-square-foot space at 9420 N. Newport Highway.

“Spokane is a great market. It’s only a couple of hours from us. We have a lot of friends in Spokane and it just seemed like a no-brainer,” Porter Kinney said of the expansion to the Lilac City.

Kohli said opening a location in Spokane is a natural progression for the barbecue restaurant chain, which has gained a loyal following of customers in the Tri-Cities for its slow-cooked meats and sides that are made fresh daily.

“We are looking forward to expanding,” Kohli said. “We told our customers in the Tri-Cities we would grow when the time was right and we think now is the time.”

Porter’s Real Barbecue in Spokane will likely have a similar menu to the restaurant chain’s three locations in the Tri-Cities with plans to potentially add new dishes, Kinney said.

Porter’s Real Barbecue serves beef brisket, St. Louis-style ribs, pulled pork and smoked turkey and sausage, among other things.

“The way we serve is Central Texas-style where folks come in and we cut and serve brisket right in front of you,” Kinney said.

Because the restaurant makes its food fresh daily, menu items can regularly sell out, Kinney said.

The restaurant will serve fountain drinks, sweet tea and craft beer from local brewers, Kohli said.

Kinney, a Richland native, developed a passion for barbecue while living in South Carolina.

When the Kinneys moved to the Tri-Cities in 2009, they were unable to find anything that lived up to the slow-cooked barbecue they were accustomed to in the South.

“I was craving it so bad when I moved back here and I just taught myself how to make it,” Kinney said.

After five years of practice and experimentation with mastering the art of barbecue, the Kinney’s launched Porter’s Real Barbecue in a food truck.

On opening day, the food truck had a line of more than 30 people.

By the third day of operation, the line had grown so much that the Kinneys sold out of 150 pounds of barbecue within a few hours.

In 2015, the Kinneys opened their first brick-and-mortar restaurant in Richland Parkway.

The restaurant was featured on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” in 2019.

Kohli said they chose to open a restaurant in North Spokane, in part, because of its proximity to residential neighborhoods and other businesses.

The restaurant anticipates hiring about 40-50 employees, Kohli added.

Porter’s Real Barbecue is slated to open in late fall or early winter of this year.

“I’m just really excited to be in Spokane and join the community there,” Kinney said.Amy Edelen can be reached at (509) 459-5581 or at [email protected]

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