Born Out Of Tragedy, Business Is Booming At This Niverville BBQ Joint
For Jason Scanlon, barbecue isn’t just a hobby, it’s a passion.
The Columbia County resident has been obsessed with grilling and live fire cooking for most of his life, but really began honing his craft around 2010, he said.
Scanlon runs Bernie’s Blue Line Barbecue in northern Columbia County, in Niverville, at 122 Lake Street.
“I became immersed in the barbecue culture and began absorbing all the knowledge I could through reading books, watching barbecue television shows, eating at barbecue establishments, and devoting all of my spare time to the craft,” Scanlon said.
That passion eventually led to the birth of his catering and takeout business, Bernie’s Blue Line Barbecue. Its motto: “Life’s too short to eat boring barbecue.”
It’s the kind of cute, whimsical phrase that one might see on a website banner and not give a second thought. Scanlon, though, knows just how short life really is.
In February 2017, his brother-in-law and Greene County Sheriff’s deputy, Kevin Haverly, was killed on the job when his patrol car struck a telephone pole on Route 23 in Ashland.
Haverly, who died at the scene, was just finishing up a 12-hour shift at the time, police said.
“His passing put things into perspective for me and made me realize that life is too short,” Scanlon said. “You have to pursue your dreams and be happy every day.”
Haverly had always encouraged him to start a business selling his barbecue food, he said.
“Thus, Bernie's Blue Line Barbecue was born and it pays respect to my grandfather, Bernard Benosky, and my brother-in-law, Kevin 'Haas' Haverly.”
Adorning the menu are classics found at any quality backyard cookout: pork ribs, chicken legs, smoked brisket, burgers, and hot dogs.
Customers can also choose from a number of tasty appetizers and sides, including bleu cheese stuffed mushrooms, garlic mashed potatoes, cornbread, macaroni and cheese, and potato salad.
And don’t think Scanlon forgot about dessert. Patrons can choose from a mouthwatering array that includes banana cream pudding, bacon wrapped smoked Oreos, and chocolate chip cookies.
For those hosting larger events, like a wedding or graduation party, Bernie’s offers a full pig roast, featuring a locally sourced pig in Greene County that’s trimmed, injected, and covered in a rub before cooking for over 15 hours.
“Once the trailer arrives on site and your guests see the finished product, your party will be taken to the next level,” Scanlon said.
Reviews for Bernie’s Blue Line Barbecue have been overwhelmingly positive.
“Just had Bernie’s for the first time at an event yesterday and all I can say is WOW!!!” one reviewer wrote on Restaurantji. “The food was OUTSTANDING. I will definitely be recommending this company every time I hear someone talking about needing a caterer!!!”
"He catered two parties for me this summer. He was fabulous, professional and kind!” another customer wrote. “Food was amazing!!! Highly recommend the stuffed mushrooms and wings!! Everything was perfect!! Cannot say enough great things and I am difficult to please! Five stars!"
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