WHARTON, Texas -- For almost 50 years, Hinze's BBQ has been an institution in Wharton, Texas, serving up 100-percent pecan-smoked meats alongside its famous tangy sauce.
W.C. Hinze first opened his landmark barbecue joint along Highway 59 in 1973, and it quickly became a favorite of both locals and travelers. Over the years, all seven of his children worked at the restaurant, with his son Mike eventually taking over.
Though Hinze's has long been a Texas barbecue staple, the restaurant has also seen its share of challenges. In 2014, a pit fire swept through Hinze's, destroying the restaurant and forcing it to temporarily close. Following an outpouring of love and support from the community, Hinze's BBQ reopened a few months later, serving up all the same favorites customers have loved for decades.
"It's home. It's a great community," said current owner Mike Hinze. "The people are fantastic. We've had some ups and downs and through everything, the community has supported us. No matter what, they're behind us."