BBQ Pete’s in Kent was designed to be a friendly BBQ place with counter-style “sudden service” having a higher level of quality and professionalism. Every day, we fire up the pit with Pacific Northwest Alderwood and smoke our meats low and slow. We cook from our original recipes and seek out the best possible ingredients – for every layer of the operation.
BBQ Pete’s has a history going back to 1972 when Pete created the first restaurant in Tacoma. In 1976, he expanded his operation to the Washington State Fair in Puyallup. Since then, eating at BBQ Pete’s Log Cabin every September has become an annual tradition for many. More barbecue restaurants followed in the 80s. Pete is still known by many old timers in the industry as one of the greatest local restaurateurs from that time period. Pete retired from his year round restaurant business in 1995, but the Fair operation has remained in the Peterson family all along.
Pete’s son, Ryan, got his first “real” job at age 16 as a dishwasher at The Keg in Federal Way. Then, while studying at the University of Washington, he worked front of house at Ivar’s and then in the kitchen at Anthony’s. Occasionally, he would help on his father’s catering jobs as well. After graduating, he ran the barbecue pits at the Fair for a few years before taking over the entire operation. All the while, Ryan was forming his vision to bring BBQ Pete’s back home again. He took several trips through the American Barbecue Belt, attending competitions and visiting some of our country’s greatest pitmasters and restaurateurs. Ryan still goes on annual barbecue expeditions around the country. His early inspirations were from Central Texas. More recent influences are coming from the Kansas City style.
In 2008, Ryan founded a new era and doors opened in Kent. BBQ Pete’s was reborn. Every year since has been a record breaker and volume has quadrupled. Our family is blessed with good folks on both sides of the counter. Many thanks to the crew and our guests who come every day to make it possible!
While barbecue sauce runs thick in his veins, Ryan is equally passionate about creating a great business operation. His goal is the process: “Constant Improvement.” He is always working on projects to take the quality of the operation to new levels. Ryan’s main mentor continues to be his father, Pete, who can sometimes be spotted having lunch at BBQ Pete’s between his world travels. When Ryan isn’t working on the business, he enjoys time with his lovely wife of 20 years and their two children, trailer life in the woods, hunting ducks with the three generations of Petersons, and strumming his six string.