While pitmaster Pat Martin continues to methodically spread the gospel of West Tennessee whole hog barbecue in Middle Tennessee and neighboring states, he’s simultaneously turning his attention to a different market segment, fast food, as Martin plans to bring Hugh-Baby’s BBQ and Burger Shop to Nashville next spring.
Named after Martin’s uncle Hugh, the youngest of ten siblings, the concept is slated for the former Porter Road Butcher property at 4816 Charlotte Avenue. Martin, who is again partnering with restaurant group Fresh Hospitality on the project, describes Hugh-Baby’s as an old school burger joint, serving up cheeseburgers, shakes and fries, along with pulled pork, chicken and turkey sandwiches with an emphasis on Memphis-style flavor profiles. An item on the menu that most will be unfamiliar with is slugburgers, a style of burger that became popular in parts of the South during the Depression and which utilizes a mixture of meal or flour and meat to make the protein last longer.
I’m a huge slugburger fanatic. Slugburger Cafe and White Trolley Cafe in Corinth, Mississippi are two of the best, and the first time I ever ate one was at White Trolley. I want it to be that same kind of feel, that same lunch counter experience. And we’re going to keep it simple. It will be a combination of soy meal and pork, fired with pickles, mustard and white onion. That’s it.
Breakfast items will be on offer as well, including biscuit sandwiches featuring scratch-made buttermilk biscuits and proprietary bacon and sausage sourced from the Fatback Abbatoir in Eva, Ala.
As expected, Hugh-Baby’s will have an emphasis on quality, with Martin stating that everything will be made from scratch, including grinding the burgers five times a day in-house. “The goal is for every burger to have been ground within two hours before it hits your mouth. Those are my standards. Burgers are really no different than barbecue - it’s all about quality.”
The 2,200-square-foot space will have a clean, minimal decor, which Martin describes as “Southern modern.” It will also include a patio, as well as both drive-thru and walk-up service windows.
Hugh-Baby’s currently has two outposts on West Virginia University’s campus, where they have been getting their processes in order over the past year. But Martin says that it’s a “Tennessee/Southern brand and that it’s time to open up at home.”
That opening is anticipated for mid to late April next year.