Patrick Riha is bringing a whole new dining experience to the Town of Westport, one with a campground feel and barbecue.
The owner of the Northside Beef Butter BBQ and Meat Market will open Camp Beef Butter at 5407 Hwy. M in Westport May 14, weather permitting. With 11 firepits, a large screen and stage, the former site of the White House restaurant is transformed into an outdoor dining area.
Riha plans to have DJ music Friday nights and live bands Saturdays, starting with 35 South on May 15. Patrons can grill their own meals, as well.
“We’ll be selling sausage rings and kits where people can grill out,” Riha said. Marshmallow grilling kits will also be available.
For those who just want to enjoy a draft beer and a meal, the menu will offer beef butter brisket, pulled pork, brats and sides of Beef Butter’s baked beans and macaroni and cheese.
Riha is also planning a Brat Fest May 29 with bands throughout the day, featuring brats made by John Lehman, who owned Jim’s Meat Market on Northport Drive for 30 years.
Riha has a vision of someday building a restaurant at the Hwy. M Beef Butter Camp.
“It works well in Arizona, and the restaurant will be the Beef Butter BBQ drive-through,” Riha said.
But that’s a long-term plan to pursue only if the camp is successful. One obstacle is the difficult access and egress to the site off of Hwy. M, where rush-hour traffic is heavy, he said.
Already, Riha has bands booked most Saturdays through August with a variety of styles, including bluegrass and blues.
While picnic tables are at the site, Riha advises patrons to bring a lawn chair.
“This is like camping. When you’re camping you always have a lawn chair,” he said.