New Location Gives Popular BBQ Joint More Visibility

Oct. 21, 2010Bookmark and Share
Diners looking for West Harlem’s popular Dinosaur Bar-B-Que restaurant, originally on W. 131st Street, won’t need to look much further for its traditional Southern fixings of collard greens and ribs. As of Sept. 30, its new home is just across the street on 125th Street and 12th Avenue, adjacent to West Harlem Piers Park.
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que owner John Stage and others discuss the restaurant's new location. (3:11)
“I love the area—the Hudson, the [historic Riverside Drive Viaduct]—and I always liked that corner,” said Dinosaur Bar-B-Que owner, John Stage. “It was vacant, so I reached out to Columbia. They delivered on what they said and have been great.”
Columbia worked with architects, engineers and contractors to coordinate the construction of the restaurant’s new home. “It’s a success whenever we are able to support local businesses,” said Joe Ienuso, executive vice president of Columbia University Facilities. “John had a vision for Dinosaur, and we worked with him to achieve his vision.  It was an ideal situation.”
Stage welcomes the convenience of the location, formerly a meatpacking plant. “The new address is much better,” he said. “Before, a lot of people didn’t know where to find the place since the streets jump from 125th to 130th. This is at a visible area and close to the subway.”
The space preserves the rustic, roadhouse vibe of the previous location, with a few enhancements. The layout is wider, and the bar is situated in a larger, open area that is accompanied by a stage and seating for live performances. Also, four fire pits have been brought into the kitchen area to facilitate overnight roasting and event catering.
Pieces of the old Dinosaur have been incorporated into the new design. For example, the old building’s wood beams were refurnished into bar tops and dining tables. Mini decorative bikes that once hung along the walls are now above dining booths, and lighting fixtures have also been brought over from the former location. Other materials were reclaimed from New York salvage yards, including a set of unique railings, to incorporate into the interior design.
Originally started in Syracuse, NY, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que New York City opened its doors in 2004. Its relocation is part of the University’s extensive effort to help organizations and businesses in Manhattanville find alternative or improved space within the local community, as development continues on the 17 acres that will become Columbia’s new, environmentally sustainable campus.

“Every Dinosaur is different, but despite the new space, you’ll get the same staff, same service, the same Dinosaur,” Stage said.