Barbecue restaurant opens inside bar

Feb. 14, 2020

A couple whose passion for barbecue started with making their own sauces and rubs has opened a restaurant in Harrisburg.

Bone Daddy’s Smokehouse is open Wednesday through Saturday in The Phoenix Lounge downtown.

“We heard that he (the bar’s owner) was looking to start a kitchen in there again,” said Vanessa Ragatz who runs the business with her husband, Randy. “We brought him in a sample menu and what we make, and he loved it.”

They installed a smoker in the small kitchen and started serving the bar’s patrons and drawing their own customers. The kitchen has its own window inside the bar where customers order and pay.

“A lot of people refer to it like a food truck in there,” Ragatz said.

The menu offers more than a food truck though.

“Our smoked ribs and wings are huge,” Ragatz said. “We have a pork taco too that just flies out the window for us.” The taco features smoked pork belly that’s crisped on the grill and topped with a sweet jalapeno coleslaw and the restaurant’s Carolina Golden sauce.

Bone Daddy’s also makes smoked chicken and pulled pork for sandwiches, quesadillas and nachos. Other menu items include appetizers, a variety of loaded potato rounds, chislic and a Philly cheesesteak. Bone Daddy’s Burger is a one-third pound beef patty topped with melted cheddar cheese, smoked pork belly, melted pepper jack, a fried egg and another slice of pepper jack – all drizzled with the restaurant’s Classic barbecue sauce.

The Classic sauce is sweet and tangy, Ragatz said. She describes Carolina Golden as mustardy, North Carolina as no spice and Jacked Up Classic as hot.

They also sell the sauce in bottles.

Bone Daddy’s offers catering and also puts together customized, to-go family meals by request. A website,, with all the restaurant’s offerings will be available soon, Ragatz said.

The couple works full-time – Randy is an owner-operator truck driver and Vanessa works in health care administration – so the restaurant’s hours reflect their schedules. It opens at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and noon on Saturday. It usually closes at 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday but is open until 11 p.m. or later on Friday and Saturday.

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Barbecue restaurant opens inside bar

A couple whose passion for barbecue started with making their own sauces and rubs has opened Bone Daddy’s Smokehouse in Harrisburg.

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