Phil’s BBQ opened the doors to its new Santee restaurant on Tuesday to a line of customers around the building and one of the most attended ribbon cuttings in Santee history.
Buzz surrounding the grand opening, which opened at the old Original Roadhouse Grill site at Trolley Square, has been stirring since the announcement about the Santee location was first confirmed in February. Construction on the restaurant began in July.
Many boardmembers and leaders from the Santee Chamber of Commerce, Mayor Randy Voepel, City Councilmembers Rob McNelis and Jack Dale, Santee's Assemblyman Brian Jones and other community leaders made it out to the ribbon cutting and opening.
Santee marks the third Phil’s BBQ restaurant in San Diego with other sites in Point Loma and San Marcos. Phil's menu features mesquite BBQ with a bit of a kick, including ribs, chicken, pulled pork, tri tip sandwhiches and more.
“We had been eyeing a spot in East County for quite some time,” said Phil Pace, owner of Phil’s BBQ. “We’ve had overwhelming support and enthusiasm from so many during the build-out.”
The new restaurant saw more than 2,500 applicants apply for 140 available positions on staff over a five day period. The line to eat remained out the door for the entirety of the opening festivities.
The Santee Phil’s BBQ has design elements that are unique to the restaurant, including a custom-made, stainless steel BBQ that holds 20 beer tap handles and walk-up drink window for people waiting in line. With this opening Phil’s also introduced five signature cocktail drinks, including a Bloody Mary with Phil’s BBQ sauce and Gooba Dust Rub in the mix.
The new restaurant featured sneak peak meals to friends and family over the weekend, including a lucky winner of a dinner for four that Santee Patch gave away in a contest last week. Phil's raised donations from those guests and handed the Boys and Girls Clubs of East County a check for $13,600.