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We're Open, Arizona: Meet Phil Johnson, the pitmaster behind Trapp Haus BBQ in Phoenix

Posted at 2:32 PM, Feb 05, 2021

PHOENIX — February is Black History Month and as part of our "We're Open, Arizona" series, we're highlighting Black-owned businesses around the Valley.

Meet Phil "Phil the Grill" Johnson, a top-rated competition pitmaster, celebrity chef, and described on his website as "the Jay-Z of barbecue."

He opened his restaurant, Trapp Haus BBQ, within Phoenix's Roosevelt Row district nearly three years ago.

There, he creates his signature freestyle flavors and spices for all of his meats -- brisket, chicken, pulled pork, and ribs. His menu features sandwiches, bowls, combos, and platters, along with some seafood dishes and, of course, those comfort sides, like waffle fries, beans, coleslaw, and mac and cheese.

Yes, the pandemic has brought its own set of challenges, but Johnson said his business is open and customers continue to support him day after day.

"Definitely rebounding," he said. "Things are going good. We're looking for expansion, trying to do more patio seating and moving the bar area to where we have more of a lounge area and more dining room seating."

He said one of the changes he made was turning the restaurant into a family-style barbecue restaurant.

"Whether you want to come in and dine with us or take it home, that's what the Trapp Haus is all about. That family-style love and feeling. You know, just good comfort food," he said.

Aside from the food, he also sells merchandise, gift cards, and his signature rub, "Rub me all over."

"Big barbecue competition, it's called the "American Royal." My rub was entered and it was named 20th best rub in the planet. So, it's great because the rub is a part of New York and a part of Arizona all blended together in a bottle."

For more information, visit

Trapp Haus BBQ
511 East Roosevelt Street
Phoenix, AZ 85004