Business

Moose Creek Barbecue opens in Smokey Point

SMOKEY POINT — How dedicated is Pat Patton to serving up the best barbecue meats he can, at the Moose Creek Barbecue in Smokey Point?

“My husband will literally keep meats in that smoker all night,” said Sharon Patton, Pat’s wife and co-owner of the Moose Creek Barbecue. “He’ll come at 1 a.m. just to throw more wood in. Bear in mind, he’s 77 years old,” she laughed.

The Pattons opened the Moose Creek Barbecue at 3617 172nd Ave. NE in Arlington earlier in the year, but they’ve been barbecuing since the 1950s and running barbecue restaurants since the 1970s.

“We never get tired of hearing our customers tell us good things about our barbecue,” Sharon Patton said. “Part of it is that we use the best meats, sauces and other ingredients that money can buy, but we also enjoy the people we meet. They get so involved in our business and want to know exactly how we do it. We must open up that smoker at least five times a day so that they can look inside and ask us what kinds of wood we use. It makes our business personal. We love our customers to death.”

The Pattons came to the Pacific Northwest when their children, who live in the Puget Sound region, started having children of their own.

“We’re so happy to be able to see our grandchildren on a regular basis, but we wanted to stay away from everyday life in the busy city,” Sharon Patton said. “We love Arlington. It’s a great community, and they were ready for us to be here. While we were still setting up, we must have had 10 people a day come by and ask if we were open yet.”

Although the Pattons have lived in California and Oklahoma, they grew most accustomed to life in Alaska, which is reflected in the decor of their restaurant and in their meals.

“We’ve tried to make the place feel really homey,” Sharon Patton said, while seated in front of a moose head mounted on the wall. “Once you’ve lived in the wilderness long enough, it stays with you all your life. One thing that took us a while to get used to was the darkness here, compared to up north. I’m glad the cops weren’t watching us too closely when we started driving here,” she laughed.

Although Patton described the Moose Creek Barbecue as “a meat-and-potatoes place,” she noted that they’ll soon be branching out into lighter fare such as salads, although she expects that pulled pork, brisket and ribs will remain the restaurant’s top-selling orders.

Patton feels strongly about connecting with the community outside of the restaurant as well. A member of the Arlington Baptist Church, she’s already planning to hire a professional artist to provide a painted backdrop for the restaurant’s growing memorial wall to fallen military members.

“We’re just so grateful to this community,” Patton said.

The Moose Creek Barbecue is open on Tuesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and from Wednesdays through Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., or until they sell out. For more information, call 360-651-2523.

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