Burgeoning underground pop-up Horn Barbecue has been making a reputation around the Bay Area. It was started in 2016 by head chef and pitmaster Matt Horn through a desire to impress his wife. Her disapproval of some ribs he cooked once inspired him to never cook another piece of bad ‘cue. Horn has since honed his skills in Central Texas-style barbecue that’s dry rubbed, smoked, and hormone-free. Now, his popular ‘cue garners queues of hundreds. And as such, the last few years have quickly made Horn BBQ one of the go-to Bay Area spots for locals.
Another contributor to Horn BBQ’s success is it’s family owned, co-ran with his wife, Nina. As a black-owned business in a city rich with black history, Horn feels a responsibility to his community and those that came before him. Those strong community ties are present in Horn BBQ’s recently launched initiative, which was created in response to the on-going corona pandemic. The Horn Initiative is a philanthropic effort that stems from a lifelong commitment to give to those in need. Being of service was a fundamental part of Horn’s upbringing and during these dire days, he wanted to give back to the community that has given so much to him. Horn recalls a recent interaction with a police officer:
“While hosting one of our community ‘cues, I had an officer ask why I was doing the [pop-up] cooks. I explained to him that it is my responsibility to my community to step up and be a blessing to those that need it. He asked, “Why me?” and I told him that he is a vital part of our community and through love, we can get through this together.”
Committed to serving the community, with your help, The Horn Initiative will continue into the post-covid future. To donate, Horn BBQ has created a Gofundme to cover food costs. For the moment though, as we move towards overcoming this, you can stay up to date on the next pop-up here. To bolster their efforts, they’ll also be dropping off food at homeless camps and hospitals. Meals are open to anyone in need.