This beloved Cheat Lake BBQ business is back and better than ever.
Loved for everything from its burgers and pulled pork to its fries and hand-dipped ice cream, the iconic Backyard BBQ on Cheat Road returned in June with more menu items and catering options than ever. After being closed since last September, it’s no surprise that owner Zach Traugh was eager to re-open and reclaim his restaurant’s reputation as one of the best BBQ joints around. We tracked him down to ask how it’s going.
Q: What’s The Backyard BBQ’s backstory?
Zach Traugh: I own two bars downtown and, when they shut all the bars down because of COVID-19—well, I’m not really good at sitting around and not doing anything. So I opened the restaurant with one of the guys that worked for me at the time, and it turned out to be something that everybody seemed to like. We’ve actually made a pretty successful business out of it.
Q: What’s new this summer?
ZT: The biggest new thing we’ve been getting into recently is buying whole hogs and taking them out to people’s houses to cook. It’s not the cheapest catering service we offer, but if you want to feed 75 to 150 people, it’s really a fun way to do it, and it’s quite a spectacle. It always comes out really well, too.
Q: What should we try first?
ZT: My personal favorite is the Oklahoma Onion Burger. We slice onions on the thinnest possible setting so they’re notebook-paper thin. Then, we put them on the grill and smash the burger meat on top so that the onions fry inside the meat, and we top it with garlic mayonnaise, pickles, and cheese. A lot of people also like our BBQ Burger—it has pulled pork on it, so you definitely get the best of both worlds with that one.
The Backyard BBQ will be serving up all your summertime favorites every Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., all summer long—and possibly even into the colder months this year, Traugh says, “as long as there’s demand for it.”