La Grange's Celtic Pig food truck expands into Louisville's dining scene

-A A +A
By Andrew Henderson

This little piggy went to market, this little piggy went home and this little piggy cried “wee wee wee” all the way to Louisville.

The Celtic Pig, a food truck that got its wheels rolling in La Grange, is expanding their Scottish and Irish menu to a brick-and-mortar restaurant on Louisville’s bustling East Main Street.

Celtic Pig owners Melissa Ingram and Sam Bracken, started their food truck venture in 2015. During this time, you could typically find them parked in the Big O Tires parking lot in La Grange on any given Sunday afternoon.

Bracken said the Celtic Pig became more and more popular, and they sold some 20 pounds of pork and brisket to hungry customers just on those Sunday afternoons. The duo started working weekends and special events as they watched their fan base grow.  

“And it just took off…so we both quit our jobs and we finished the truck up and starting going down to Main Street in Louisville,” Bracken said.

Their new restaurant will be located at 217 E. Main Street, the former site of Main Street Café, and next door to the event venue Ice House. It’s also two blocks down from Louisville Slugger Field.

Bracken said they wanted to find a restaurant space in La Grange, and still do, but haven’t been able to find the right location with the right criteria. After looking for a couple of years, they were excited to find this location at a competitive rate with the potential for future development.

“We feel like we’re going into this with our eyes wide open and we know what we’re getting into,” he said.

And they’ve certainly soared over the past few years. What started as Ingram’s modest desire for a smoker, albeit one you could fit an entire pig inside, spawned an entire business.

Bracken and a friend happily obliged to build the smoker, which they used at first to feed friends and family, but then they started entering barbecue competitions, winning trophies and getting feedback from people. So after that they started setting up, or rather parking, shop at Big O Tires.

The food business was a new venture for Bracken who ran his own landscaping business beforehand; however, the territory was not unfamiliar to Ingram.

Ingram has 30 years of experience in the food industry under her belt: from fine dining, baking, catering and “slopping barbecue” on the side of the street. Her most recent job was executive chef at the University of Louisville.

“The restaurant has always been in the back of our minds, that’s what we always wanted it to be,” Ingram said.

She said the restaurant will have all of the food truck favorites, such as fish and chips, Scotch eggs, pulled pork and sauerkraut balls. But with the restaurant comes more space and resources, so they’ll also be including more traditional Scottish and Irish dishes, like shepherd’s pie and beef stew.

Ingram said she’s excited to have the space to do things she’s currently unable to do in the food truck. Bracken was likewise excited that the restaurant means they no longer have to rotate menu items off when they come up with something new. 

The duo will take over the dining room and kitchen space at the beginning of February, with the hopes of having it open by March 1. Additionally, the restaurant will have a bar, which they also hope to have open sometime in March.

As for the food truck, they said they still have plans to use it, but with the restaurant they’ll finally have an answer to people’s constant questions as to where people can find them.

“Now we can finally tell people they can get Melissa’s food anytime they want,” Bracken said.

The Celtic Pig will have a grand opening event on April 20. You can visit their Facebook page here