Jul 09, 2024

'I love the product so much I bought the company:' New owners of Roy's BBQ

Posted Jul 09, 2024 10:22 AM
Photo by Emmie Boese.
Photo by Emmie Boese.

Hutch Post

HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Some different faces are behind the counter of Roy's Hickory Pit BBQ. Kirk Johnson and his family bought Roy's BBQ on July 1. The Johnson's have owned R-B Drive In on East Ave A in downtown Hutchinson since 2016. 

"Over the past five to six years as I'd come in to eat, I'd ask Anne, hey if you are ever interested, you know." 

Mike and Anne Armstrong bought Roy's BBQ in 1982. Mike patented Roy's Hickory BBQ sauce which is sold exclusively in stores and is served exclusively at the restaurant. After Mike passed away in 2007, Anne and their son Ryan Collum have been running Roy's BBQ for the past 20 years.

"Anne and Ryan were ready to move on to the next chapter of their lives and that's been something that she has shared over the past five, six years," Johnson said. "So when it became open, my wife and I made the decision that we would offer and try to take that opportunity."

Johnson said he and his family want to make it clear that Roy's BBQ is an institutional brand and have put themselves in the role of being the caretakers of it. 

"People take ownership of them like its theirs," Johnson said. "I happen to be the caretaker standing behind the counter and my son and I making and preparing everything for that day but when people come in, they have ownership, they believe it, and I love that. God willing, we will be around to do this. And then at some unforeseen time right, there is a mantle where someone will say I'll pick up the torch and go forward." 

Johnson said he and his family will not be changing any of the menu items, recipes or restaurant hours. The only exception will be to add sales tax to the original menu prices by rounding to the nearest whole number or 50 cents. 

"We think we are ready and again we want to be caretakers and provide that opportunity to people that recognize it because it's amazing how many people just say oh don't change anything ," Johnson said. "It's like well I'm not here to change anything. I'm here to preserve a legacy and then also provide a go forward." 

 Roy's BBQ is located on the west side of town at 1018 Nickerson Blvd. As a reminder, Roy's BBQ is open Tuesday-Saturday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. or until the food runs out.

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