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BBQ Pete’s is opening its new location – finally. Here are details

BBQ Pete's

It’s happening. BBQ Pete’s is opening its Lakewood restaurant today (September 4, 2020) at Lakewood Towne Center. 

The Peterson family founded the longtime barbecue restaurant in Pierce County all the way back in 1972. 

That Tacoma treasure came with table service, a heavy whiff of smoke, a full cocktail bar, and the world-famous “honey drop.” That was a dining room trick in which servers would climb a ladder and once they reached a precarious height, they’d drop honey onto cornbread on the table below. 

BBQ Pete's dining room
Dining room of BBQ Pete’s in Kent, WA. Expect a similar look in Lakewood, but dine-in service won’t start right away at the new location.

Fun fact: As a kid, I also remember the same dining room trick while dining at H.D. Hotspurs in Kent, which closed 8 years ago after a 32-year run. I miss those kinds of dining room antics, complimentary crudite platters, free bread baskets and candy for sale at the cash register. 

God, I’m old. 

But, anyway. 

The honey drop, table service and cocktails won’t be part of the current iteration of BBQ Pete’s, but you can bet that cornbread will still be on the menu alongside the alder-smoked ribs, brisket, pulled pork and four kinds of barbecue sauce  – classic, zesty, spicy and fair-style –  for which BBQ Pete’s has long been regionally known.

First, a history lesson for newcomers.  


The original BBQ Pete’s in Tacoma closed more than 20 years ago, but the family continued serving every year – since 1976 – at the Washington State Fair in Puyallup. The business is now operated by the Peterson family’s second generation since Ryan Peterson’s dad retired from the restaurant business. 

Ryan has turned the modern version of BBQ Pete’s into something that looks a little more 21st century: a fast-casual spot that’s family friendly and focused on getting diners in and out quickly.  

That’s the concept behind the BBQ Pete’s Ryan opened in Kent in 2008.

Now, he’s duplicating that concept in Lakewood. 


When normal service resumes, diners will order at the counter before finding a seat. And also when normal service resumes, diners will have help-yourself soft-serve ice cream, a condiment bar and four kinds of barbecue sauce at the sauce pump station. 

However, we’re not yet in an era of normal service, so expect pre-packaged house sauces and dining to be heavy on take-out with safety protocols in place. 

Expect a walk-up station for ordering and a separate area for pick-up, for starters. 

pork sandwich
A pulled pork sandwich and pickles from BBQ Pete’s in Kent.

“At least this mess will give us a chance to start in low gear and warm up the engines before takeoff. Gotta find some silver lining, right?,” said Ryan Peterson back in July when we discussed what opening during a pandemic might look like. 

On the plus side: Barbecue is an exceptional food for take-out because it’s already been cooked low-and-slow for hours, so what’s a few extra minutes in a to-go container?

BBQ Pete’s menu is divided into sandwiches, barbecue dinners and (surprisingly) an excellent selection of salads topped with barbecued meats. Sides include cornbread muffins, loaded baked potato salad, fries, two kinds of coleslaw, baked beans and salad. 

Opening hours will be 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Closed Sunday and Monday. 

BBQ Pete's
BBQ Pete’s new location in Lakewood at Towne Center.


Where: 6111 Lakewood Towne Center Blvd, Suite A (between Crunch Fitness and Wing Stop)

Phone: 253-507-9041

Website: https://www.bbqpetes.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bbqpetes/

Insta: https://www.instagram.com/bbqpetes/

Wienerschnitzel in Fife.


Did you see my story on Wednesday about the triumphant return of hot dog restaurant Wienerschnitzel? It’s opening in Fife this month. Read my story here.