Phil the Grill

Pitmaster Phil Johnson of Trapp Haus BBQ

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Unfortunately, 2021 has been a difficult year for some in the local restaurant industry. From supply chain disruptions, hiring issues to rising food and operation costs, all while restaurant owners have been fighting to recover from the impact of the 2020 closures from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lack of workers forces popular Phoenix mom-and pop bakery to close
Vegan restaurant forced to close after 15 years in Tempe

One of my first-ever Arizona's Family Foodie segments, which was during my barbecue series, featured pitmaster Phil Johnson, aka Phil the Grill, of Trapp Haus BBQ in the Roosevelt Row district of downtown Phoenix. Johnson, a native of New York City, combines various New York City influences, seasoning, dressings and love into his food. 

Amid the pandemic, Johnson was able to keep afloat thanks to loyal patronage and love from the barbecue community. Johnson returned the favor through new menu creations, some inspired by the Phoenix Suns' NBA Finals run, and the foodie spirit to always bring something new and exciting to his customers. Now, Johnson's announced an expansion to his restaurant and a program to help up-and-coming food truck operators! The modifications are set to improve the dining experience for guests whether they're dining in or on the go!

“This expansion is going to be an all-new Trapp, with easier ordering and faster food service,” said Johnson. “But it will still have the same family-style BBQ environment that people come here for.”

Trapp Haus goers can expect to see self-service kiosks for do-it-yourself ordering, a streamlined online ordering system, and a pick-up window for to-go orders. The dining room will now have a full bar to include premium cocktails. The expansion is expected to be complete sometime in January.

On top of expanding his restaurant, Johnson is launching two new food truck concepts in the spring. Before opening Trapp Haus BBQ, Johnson operated a food truck business himself. Johnson is using that knowledge to launch a new business to build custom food trucks and develop a mentorship program to educate first-time food truck owners. Johnson wants to help upcoming foodies launch their food truck concepts and succeed in the food industry. For more information on Trapp Haus BBQ, click here.

Copyright 2021 Gray Media Group, Inc.


Digital Content Producer

Arizona's Family Foodie - Telling the stories of chefs, pitmasters, cooks, restaurant owners, and anyone who enjoys and is passionate about food in the Phoenix metro. Let's talk food!

Recommended for you