PERRY HALL, Md. (WJZ) — It all started in Glen Burnie on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. It’s a restaurant with a mission to salute our men and women in uniform.
As Ron Matz explains, this Baltimore business is giving back to the community every day.
Behind the delicious food, there’s a purpose at Mission BBQ.
Owners Bill Kraus and Steve Newton opened their restaurants to give back to our men and women in uniform.
“The whole mission of Mission BBQ was an opportunity for two best friends that wanted to build something that had purpose,” Kraus said. “We’re patriotic guys, and we’re passionate about barbecue.”
“I look at this as my chance to serve,” Newton said. “Having never served in the military or been a police officer, firefighter or first responder, this is an opportunity I get to give back to them.”
Kraus says it’s their chance to give back, to be a part of something much bigger than themselves.
Newton is the food expert.
“We have a rack of ribs, baby back ribs. We season those, let them sit overnight. We’ll smoke them three to four hours and dust them with a little magic dust, a little old bay and served with your choice of sides,” he said.
The ribs are rubbed to perfection and oh, that pulled pork.
“We have a great North Carolina pulled pork sandwich. Carolina produces more pork than anywhere in the United States. It’s low and slow pulled pork piled high. It’s smoked 12 to 14 hours and then we pop it with a little bit of North Carolina cole slaw,” Newton said.
Customers bring patches and pictures. Celebrities, too.
But for Kraus, it’s personal.
“Deep down for me, there’s an emotional attachment,” he said. “Our oldest son just finished five years in the Marine Corps, two tours of duty. Our youngest son is inbound at the Naval Academy.”
On May 18, Mission BBQ will recognize Armed Forces Day at its Perry Hall location and present a check to the Wounded Warrior Project.
“I you’re a serviceman, come on in. We’d love to give you a free sandwich. Come out and be around some of the wounded warriors that have given so much for all of us,” Kraus said.
“They’re American heroes. They’re the ones running in when everybody else is running out. This is an opportunity for me to tip my hat and say thank you for what you do,” said Newton.
Three more restaurants will open later this year, including one at Canton Crossing.