In order to try to fill the barbecue void in the restaurant scene of Payson, Mogollon Grille owners Sue and Larry McIntyre and Dr. Bob and Debbie Thomas have altered the appearance of their bistro, and have added "Honey Bear barbecue" to their menu.
The Tennessee smoked barbecue that's now being served to Grille customers comes from the Honey Bear Barbecue restaurants, a chain started in 1986 by Gary Clark and Mark Smith in Phoenix. The fare has received the New Times "Best of Phoenix" for ten consecutive years and sports the motto "You don't need no teeth to eat our meat."
While disposing of their teeth, the owners have retained the name Mogollon Grille while adopting additional cuisine supplied from the Honey Bear's commissary and giving the restaurant a make-over.
According to Karen Greenspoon, the Main Street Manager, the change in decorum "Fits in better with the whole town." This is indicated further by the 2001 Arizona Main Street Finalist Award which the Mogollon Grille received in the category of best interior renovation.
"It's a more down home feel," says co-owner Sue McIntyre of the new eating and drinking area.
In a town with such a colorful past, and with such a competitive restaurant market, the Mogollon Grille's alteration in its fare and ambiance will better reflect the history of the town and will help it to find a unique niche here in Payson.
The new look is set to formally premier at the grand opening of the new and improved Mogollon Grille tomorrow (Saturday) from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The restaurant will also continue to showcase the Rim country's finest musicians and songwriters during Shakey Joe's Songwriter's Cafe every Friday from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Payson High School senior Christina Riepel aspires to become a political analyst.
For Job Shadow Day, Christina spent Wednesday afternoon learning the newspaper-reporting business from Roundup reporters Jim Keyworth and Charlene Hunt and found time to write this story, too.
"Christina is bright, ambitious, self-initiating and ready for employment," Hunt enthused at the end of the day.