america, bbq, bill kraus, in memory, mission bbq, steve newton, toby keith, warminster
Bill Kraus and Steve Newton founded Mission BBQ on September 11, 2011. Mission commemorates those who serve our country, as BBQ food is one staple food group in America. I didn’t realize the story of Mission BBQ until I read about it on the back of a printed menu.
In this counter-service joint, the menu also hangs above the counter. Mission BBQ provides meat options including brisket, pulled pork, and pulled chicken, but there’s also salmon, mac and cheese, peach cobbler, a couple salads, and of course, summertime lemonade. There’s an iced cooler that offers all kinds of classic bottled drinks like Yoohoo and grape soda, too. Aside from the food, decorations make Mission BBQ stand out.
When I entered the Warminster location, which opened about a year ago, I first noticed all the photos and badges hanging on the yellow walls. The photos are of men and women who serve; there’s even a memory plaque. The dining room seats 130, and max capacity is 300. There are wooden booths, waist high tables as well as high top tables. The seats inside the booths open up for storage. The high tops are covered with blue and yellow Pennsylvania license plates.
Each table has a six pack with six BBQ sauces a patron can use. There are of course paper towels on the tables too. Little American flags are part of the centerpieces. An American flag, a POW/MIA flag, and the Pennsylvania CRW flag hang from the middle of the ceiling. Quotes that are large enough to be seen from across the room are painted on all of the walls. One says, “If you knew you wouldn’t play tomorrow, how hard would you play today?” Below these words are four Air Force and Navy football jerseys with matching helmets. The Soldiers Creed sits below the saying, “The only easy day was yesterday.” Another wall reads, “Choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong.” There are photos from 9/11 and one fireman’s helmet underneath this quote. Another corner displays the words, “Play like a champion today,” with more pictures that commemorate our country’s heroes. A quote in the hallway to the bathroom reads “Every battle is won before it is fought.” In the women’s bathroom, there are photos of wives kissing their military husbands.As you exit, a quote above the door states, “Return with honor.”
Toby Keith’s “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” caught my ears through the restaurant’s speakers. There was even a remembrance table, which was covered in a white tablecloth and elegantly set for one. The table honors Prisoners of War and those heroes who are Missing in Action.
I didn’t eat the food, but Mission’s decorations, quotes, photos, and plaques gave much more to focus on.