Dan Pelfrey is bringing the big taste of Texas barbecue to Kennewick.
The Lone Star State native is opening Dickey's Barbecue Pit on Thursday, and he's confident the restaurant will satisfy the cravings of the Tri-Cities' most dedicated barbecue connoisseurs.
"We do pride ourselves on being authentic Texas barbecue," Pelfrey said. "We smoke everything low and slow."
Step into the Highway 395 location off Kennewick Avenue and you'll know what he means. The sweet, smoky smell of smoldering hickory wood permeates the restaurant.
The wooden walls and checked tableclothes lend a rural, family vibe to the establishment, while the black and white photos on the walls speak to the heritage of Dickey's Barbecue Pit, which first opened in Dallas in 1941. It's since expanded to more than 400 locations nationwide.
Pelfrey described the restaurant as family friendly -- a place where kids eat free on Sundays and anyone dining in receives free ice cream with their meal.
The Kennewick restaurant is expected to be followed by outlets in Pasco and Richland in 2015 and 2016. Pelfrey said he is unsure which restaurant he will open first.
Dickey's Barbecue Pit's menu features meats by the pound -- pulled pork, beef brisket, turkey and chicken breasts, honey ham and two varieties of sausage -- sold trimmed and sliced or whole and untrimmed. Prices by the pound range from $10.50 to $13.50.
It also offers ribs, meat plates, sandwiches, baked potatoes, salads, desserts and a slew of home-style sides.
"It's the same recipes they've had since they started in 1941," Pelfrey said of the sides, which include fried okra, jalapeo beans, green beans with bacon, waffle iron fries, barbecue beans and more.
Meat plates start at $8.95 for a quarter plate and $10.50 for a full plate.
Dickey's Barbecue Pit also offers catering ranging from box lunch drop-offs to full service.
Three days of promotions kickoff the restaurant's opening. The first 50 diners through the door Thursday will receive gift cards worth up to $50. Merchandise giveaways are planned Friday.
Country music station 94.9 The Wolf will be on site Saturday from noon to 2 p.m., when the restaurant will be selling $2 pulled pork sandwiches. Also on Saturday, one guest will win a $500 gift card and three people will win free barbecue for a year.
-- Drew Foster: 509-582-1513; firstname.lastname@example.org