Shaffer’s to expand to Middletown

Shaffer’s Barbecue and Catering, a Woodstock institution, will expand its reach when Matt Shaffer opens Shaffer’s Barbecue and Market in Middletown. The restaurant, near Belle Grove, is scheduled to be up and running by early October.

Started in 1952 by Shaffer’s grandfather, John D. Shaffer, Matt Shaffer’s Woodstock catering operation, run by his father, George Shaffer, has enjoyed prolonged success. A food truck was added to the operation in 2011.

Matt Shaffer explained the new restaurant and market’s format and the process involved in taking it from idea to building.

“I’ve always wanted to have my own barbecue place,” he said. “We were ready to take this opportunity and run with it. The last year or two we got the idea to open a barbecue and market and we were looking for the right location and it all came together in Middletown. You’ll order at the counter. We’ll have the food on the right hand side then you order and sit down. We’ll have breakfast too. Biscuits and gravy sandwiches and coffee and lunch. We’ll have barbecue. We’ve applied for an ABC license so we can sell beer and wine.”

Matt Shaffer and wife Julie will be working in tandem to get the market and restaurant up and running, he said.

“I’ll do a lot of the cooking and Julie will be involved in the front of the house, but we’ll both split a lot of duties, especially when we first open,” he said.

Matt Shaffer described the building that will house Shaffer’s Barbecue and Market, located at 8140 Valley Pike.

“It’s about 3,500 square feet,” he said. “It was built in 1953. It’s been a gas station and market since it opened. We did away with the gas. The tanks are gone and out of the ground. We like the feel of the building. It’s got a spectacular view of the valley and the battlefield and all that. We thought it was great place to sit outside, eat a barbecue sandwich and enjoy the view.”

Shaffer said the addition of the Middletown location will allow him to focus on the barbecue portion of the business without having to compete with the Woodstock catering operation.

He described the new restaurant’s menu options.

“We have a chopped pork sandwich,” he said. “It’s a little different than pulled pork. We have a sliced beef brisket and ribs and we do a couple different kinds of chicken. We have a New Orleans influence as well in some of our side dishes (Julie Shaffer is a New Orleans native). We’ll offer a few of the cajun country staples like red beans and rice. We’ll also have mac and cheese, cornbread, baked beans, green beans and a broccoli salad. Those will rotate through. We’ll have different combinations of what people want to choose to eat.”

All of the above delicacies will be cooked via Shaffer’s rotisserie-style offset smoker, which he feeds a steady diet of oak logs to create his “Virginia-style, vinegar-based barbecue.”

Contact staff writer Nathan Budryk at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or nbudryk@nvdaily.com