New ‘Neighborhood Restaurant’ Opens on Second Street

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Mayor Clyde Haulman handed off the scissors for Cochon on 2nd's ribbon-cutting to owner Neil Griggs, who asked his parents to help him make the ceremonial cut. (Elizabeth Hornsby/WYDaily)
Mayor Clyde Haulman handed off the scissors for Cochon on 2nd’s ribbon-cutting to owner Neil Griggs, who asked his parents to help him make the ceremonial cut. (Elizabeth Hornsby/WYDaily)

After several months of delay, Cochon on 2nd celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday.

Owner Neil Griggs grew up just streets away from the restaurant, located in the recently expanded Shops at Second Street complex, before heading out of state to attend the Culinary Institute of America in New York.

When returning to his hometown, Griggs knew he wanted to honor the deep roots his family has in the region. The walls of the restaurant are decorated with repurposed wood taken from his grandparents’ pig barn in Suffolk.

That same pig barn also inspired the restaurant’s name, which translates to “baby pig” in French, though Griggs is quick to qualify that despite the French moniker it is not a French restaurant.

Griggs has conceptualized his new venture as a “handcrafted, artisanal, regionally inspired” food experience, which will include seasonally changing and local ingredients whenever possible.

As for the vibe of the restaurant, Griggs qualifies it as “casual white table cloth,” or a neighborhood hangout appropriate for every day occasions.

“People can feel comfortable coming here every day, but we can also do completely custom menus for anniversaries and birthdays,” Griggs said.

The chef’s table experience might be another draw for special occasions. This ten-top table faces the entirely open kitchen so that diners can watch as the chefs prepare their meal. The chefs at Cochon can customize a multi-course dinner, complete with wine pairings, based on the preferences of the group dining at the chef’s table.

The wood that decorates the walls of Cochon on 2nd was repurposed from owner Neil Grigg's grandparents' Suffolk pig barn. (Elizabeth Hornsby/WYDaily)
The wood that decorates the walls of Cochon on 2nd was repurposed from owner Neil Grigg’s grandparents’ Suffolk pig barn. (Elizabeth Hornsby/WYDaily)

Griggs believes what really sets his restaurant apart is the quality of food and atmosphere diners will get for the price.

“A lot of places with similar food and style are charging ten dollars more per entrée,” Griggs said.

For the time being, Cochon on 2nd is open for dinners daily, and Griggs anticipates once the chefs and staff get in the swing of things the restaurant will serve lunch daily, as well.

Mayor Clyde Haulman, Vice Mayor Paul Freiling and several members of the Williamsburg City Council and Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance were present at Tuesday’s ribbon-cutting. Also in attendance were Griggs’ parents, who were happy to witness the launching of his newest venture.

“It’s good to be home,” said Griggs as he cut the ribbon and officially announced Cochon on 2nd is open for business.