Texas Culinary school students with a penchant for barbecue may be saddened to hear of the loss of one of the state’s most beloved restaurants. Hinze’s BBQ, a landmark in the Texas culinary scene, was destroyed when an out of control pit fire caused the kitchen of the restaurant to go up in flames on Aug. 4. Luckily, nobody was hurt during the fire, which was responded to quickly by over 70 emergency personnel, according to My San Antonio. Despite the complete absence of injuries, the structure itself is thought to be a total loss.
Hinze’s has been in business for over 40 years in its location off of U.S. Route 59 just outside of Wharton. During that time, the restaurant has cultivated a following as one of the classic venues for true, old-fashioned Texas barbecue.
According to My San Antonio, the Hinze family is still working with their insurance providers to determine what their next course of action will be. Early reports indicate that in all likelihood the family will have to tear down the burnt remains of the restaurant and start building entirely from scratch.
John Szymanski, one of the constables for Wharton County Precinct 2, said that the fire was strong enough to require first response attention from neighboring towns, including East Bernard, Hungerford, El Campo, Needville and Boling. In an interview with My San Antonio, he indicated that the blaze was visible from a considerable distance.
“We were in East Bernard when we got the call and we could see the smoke in the air from 12 miles away,” said Szymanski. In the same interview, the constable also spoke of the nature of the restaurant as a classic example of Texas barbecue.
“It was a very Texas, rustic place, the way you expect a barbecue restaurant to be,” said Szymanski.