Award-winning Horn Barbecue reopens at new location in Oakland following devastating fire

"We definitely faced our challenges. A lot of different emotions."

Anser Hassan Image
Saturday, April 27, 2024
Award-winning Horn Barbecue reopens in Oakland following fire
Popular Oakland restaurant Horn Barbecue reopened in a new location about five months after a devastating fire.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Popular Oakland restaurant Horn Barbecue reopened in a new location five months after a devastating fire.

Owner and Chef Matt Horn says as a business owner, he is not giving up on Oakland.

"The easiest thing to do is to quit and run away. But in the face of adversity, true character is revealed and how we respond to it," explains Horn.

RELATED: Horn Barbecue reopening at new location in Oakland after closure

Last November, just a few days before Thanksgiving, Horn Barbecue, his flagship restaurant on Mandela Parkway in Oakland was destroyed in a fire. Horn believes it was arson. It damaged the kitchen and the venting system, which cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars to install.

But on Friday, Horn's award-winning southern style barbecue restaurant reopened near downtown, replacing one of Horn's existing restaurants.

"I'm not going to say that it was easy to make the decision. We definitely faced our challenges. A lot of different emotions. We built the restaurant from the ground up and were really vested in the area," says Horn.

RELATED: Horn Barbecue in Oakland closing permanently after spike in challenges including fire, thefts

Popular West Oakland barbecue spot Horn Barbecue is closing for good after the restaurant was burglarized and gutted by a fire.

One challenge is logistics. Horn says the meat has to be smoked off site. He says it's about weighing crime and theft against community and sense of purpose.

"Prior to opening up the restaurant, we made a commitment to the city, as well as to the community. There are a lot of people, despite the challenges that are being faced here in Oakland, that support what we do. We do a lot of outreach, we do a lot in the community. And we don't want to turn our back on Oakland," he says.

VIDEO: Popular Oakland BBQ restaurant heavily damaged by fire shortly after being graffitied

Two days after Horn Barbecue in Oakland was vandalized, it was heavily damaged by fire.

Horn says he remains optimistic about the city. He credits city leadership for some the small changes he is already seeing.

"You are seeing more of a police presence, which is great. And I think the most important thing is for the guest and for the diner to be able to feel safe. For our staff to feel safe when they leave the restaurant. That's the most important thing," says Horn. "I'm a man of my word. If I say we are going to reopen, and stay here and we are going to do it."

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live