History of Bones Roadhouse
Both Mary and I love historic routes through scenic country like old Highway 66 and the roadhouses that served travelers along those byroads long ago. I've been grilling and smoking meat since I was a kid, my time tested ways and traditions run deep. Mary and I have been entertaining friends and family with bar-b-cue ever since we got together way back when. Sometimes at home, and sometimes under the stars with a few fellow bikers. The brine I use today for our salmon is the same that I developed over 30 years ago.
Mary and I had always wanted to create a family fun business to include our daughters. One morning on our way to Santa Rosa for Christmas shopping, we began to think about establishing a roadhouse that would serve the very best bar-b-cue possible. We both have always loved the vacant old house on Hwy One which among other businesses had been our friends Cheerful Chimneys. Immediately, we knew it had to be an old style roadhouse and we had to serve BBQ & beer! What a concept....now a name...we'll serve ribs......yeah Bones...maybe Bones Thunder Road.....no Bones Roadhouse. Along with a lifelong devotion to the blues.....hence - BBQ, Brews & Blues!! Now we had a suitable building in a great location which had started life as a private residence, then a plumbing business, a beauty supply, a candy store, a woodstove/spa business and most recently a deli. With lease in hand, in December 2004, we went to work creating the restaurant that was to become Bones 1!
Early in 2005, Mary and I took off to visit relatives in Texas and purchase the very best smoker that money could buy - a J&R built to Herbert Oyler's specifications. This beauty is a brute that is measured in tons rather than pounds. J&R's factory is appropriately located in Mesquite, Texas, a town which is known as the "Rodeo Capital of Texas." (The folks in that part of the Southwest know bar-b-que.) The staff at J&R were extremely helpful and Mary and I even spent some time with one of their clients that had long practical experience using J&R equipment in his restaurant.
We were driving outside El Paso and passed through a wide spot in a small road called Cornudas. There were probably three people living there at the time, but it had a classic old gas station with the perfect colors for Bones. In the old days this was Mescalero Apache country and the Butterfield Stage Company used to operate through here. Eventually, in 1923, our gas station came along. (The Spanish word "cornudas" is usually translated as "horned," but the slang version is sometimes used to refer to women married to unfaithful husbands. We don't know which meaning applies here.)
Back on the Sonoma coast we gave Kelly Moore a copy of our photo of the Cornudas gas station and asked them to mix the paint which is now known as Bones Yellow! On May 24, 2005 we opened our doors for the first time. People said good things and told their friends about us which kept the house packed! We built our family run business by concentrating on the best food and BBQ possible priced at a fair value. Our crew which helps run Bones from 6AM - 12AM 363 days a year is the very best that any restaurateur (or customer for that matter) could possibly hope for.
In August, we took over a closed restaurant at the South end of town, did some remodeling, moved our smoker, and managed to close for only 24 hours! This was Bones II, and it turned out to be as successful as it's predecessor, but unfortunately it burned to the ground on September 4, 2009, a total loss. A devastating blow, but we were able to pull ourselves together and with the help of family and friends reopened back up the street in the middle of April 2010. The community was terrific during this time and we very much appreciate the loyalty of of our many friends and devoted customers!.
So now we are settled into Bones lll! The lone survivor of the fire Buddy (our J & R Smoker) is busy at work along with all of our old recipes, all of our regular suppliers, and all of our fabulous crew. Our new building is painted with the same colors that we found in Cornudas and we are once again busy collecting the memorabilia that we lost in the fire last year. Some things have changed, but not our emphasis on quality food, BBQ, service and value. Our crew - God love 'em - are the same wonderful folks that have been with us since the beginning.
If you already know us - drop by and say hello. If we haven't met yet - drop by and say hello. If you're hungry for the best bar-b-que in this part of the world - drop by and say you're HUNGRY - Bones Roadhouse - the finest in BBQ, Brews, Blues & Booze!!
Thanks for your kind support,
Michael (Bone Daddy), Mary, Erica, Christy & the Crew!