Neighborhood Eats: The Swinging Door in Richmond

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by Sherry Williams / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on April 24, 2014 at 6:12 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 24 at 6:13 PM

HOUSTON—The Swinging Door barbecue restaurant in Richmond is the focus of this week’s KHOU 11 Neighborhood Eats segment.

The brisket is a cut above and regulars said the smoked turkey is divine.

Steve Onstad opened his little country place in Richmond on FM 359 more than 40 years ago.

“I was a young man,” Onstad said, as he laughed.

He said he basically taught himself to cook.

“My mother steered me in the right direction so I could feed myself,” he said, “but I had some college roommates that could burn water so it was up to me to supply groceries.” 

Onstad said his buddies did the housework in exchange.

Every corner of his restaurant tells a story—like the scorch marks where a table once stood. The place burned to the ground just a few years after Onstad opened it. People in the community rallied behind the 21-year-old who had no insurance.  They helped him re-build with their own hands.

Retired Houston firefighter David Pinnell was one of the people who helped with the construction.

“Just being friends, local friends, and he didn’t ask me to do any of that. I just said, ‘Very cool, let’s do it again,’” he said.

Onstad said he is very grateful that friends helped him continue doing what he loves.

“Being able to produce something, and offer it to people, and they thank you for spending money with you, I mean, that’s not a bad gig,” Onstad said.

Click here for more information about The Swinging Door.

 

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