PHOENIX — We're open, Arizona! That's what local restaurants want you to know. The bottom line is that in order for their businesses to keep going, they need your help. That's why we're helping to spread the word.
Hap's Pit Barbecue is a staple in Phoenix and has been in business for nearly 30 years.
"My parents started the restaurant in 1991. My dad owned a used-car dealership on 24th St. and Jefferson on the other side of Sky Harbor and he was trying to acquire more customers for his car business. So, he built a smoker in his garage at home. And he wheeled it out one day, set up a sign, and started selling the barbecue," said Christine Darroch, who now owns the business her dad started.
Her dad's barbecue became a hit and eventually the parking lot of the dealership couldn't handle the amount of people that was showing up. So, her dad moved the business to a building that could handle more customers, she said. The rest is history. You can read more, here.
"All of the recipes are from both of my parents. My dad created all the smoking techniques, the rubs, sauces, all the cuts of meats," she said. "All of the side dishes and desserts we sell are what we experienced growing up with my parents."
In 2018, they were featured on the Cooking Channel's TV show, "Burgers, Brew and 'Que."
"Every Sunday, I was basically experiencing different ribs, brisket, pork. It was a different style, a different rub, different sauce," she said.
As a kid, she may even have had the best job in the business: official taste tester. "I absolutely was!" she said.
The high standards haven't changed since.
"What separates us is that there is a lot of love that goes into this. We've had the same person making and doing the smoking for over 20 years," she said.
Even with the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, Hap's Pit Barbecue, like a lot of restaurants around town, is open and ready to serve.
The restaurant is located near 48th and Washington streets in an industrial area.
"No one is really working in the area anymore," she said. "This area is not heavily populated with residential homes and what not. So, right now, we're impacted by the fact that it's kind of a ghost town down here," she said.
With that, she's getting creative and bringing her business to the people, literally.
"What I have done that has been very successful is I went to my neighborhood. I actually went to my Nextdoor app, and I posted the whole story. I offered free delivery to all my neighbors on my way home from work every day. I've had about 20 neighbors order from me in the last two weeks. So, that's been really nice," she said.
The more orders she gets, the longer she can stay in business and keep her employees working because they're family, too.
"I'm absolutely doing everything I can to give my employees the amount of hours they're accustomed to, no matter what," she said.
Right now, Hap's Pit Barbecue is keeping their normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and are open for takeout and delivery.
"We are already set up for takeout. We are a large takeout business. People are used to calling the restaurant, placing their orders and then coming and picking up their food. We've done free delivery for the lifetime of the restaurant. We've always done that and we will continue to," she said.
They've partnered with UberEats to handle deliveries.
"With every takeout or delivery order placed, we are entering your name and phone number for the opportunity to win a $25 gift card," she said.
And know she needs your support, too! We've shared the past and how Hap's Pit Barbecue was created. We've shared the present state its in. And now the future depends on you.
"This restaurant is my parents' 30-year old legacy. Someday, I hope that it's one of my children's future professions. I have a passion for this. Someday when my parents are no longer here, this is what I'll have. This is the memory that they leave behind for me. That's why it's so important for me to continue. This business as well as my employees are my family. And they need their jobs, and they need to provide for their families. So, that's just the most important thing for me. And I'm doing whatever I can right now to stay successful and be positive. We may not be thriving, but we are definitely going to be surviving," she said.
IF YOU GO:
Hap's Pit Barbecue
4801 Washington St #3, Phoenix, AZ 85034