Local food truck and catering business Sticky Bones BBQ has set up shop permanently at 1100 E. Farm-to-Market 2410, just across the street from Harker Heights High School.

“This is backyard barbecue done right,” owner Alvin Whitehead said. “Coming to eat at Sticky Bones is like coming to eat at my house.”

After more than a year of solely serving food on Saturdays out of the Sticky Bones food truck, Whitehead is giving the brick-and-mortar restaurant a try.

Sticky Bones BBQ offers a selection of chicken, beef and pork cuts, each often cooked outside with pecan wood in Alvin’s Southern Pride smoker. Ribs and bacon-wrapped chicken are the restaurant’s top two sellers.

Everything is made from scratch, from the barbecue sauce to the side dishes at Sticky Bones. The homemade sauce is described as “sweet, sticky and a little hot at the end, but not too spicy,” Alvin explained.

“We just love to feed people,” said his wife, Michele Whitehead. “It all started way back in the day in Germany.”

As a young couple in the 1980s while stationed in Germany, Michele and Alvin Whitehead would invite soldiers over for holiday feasts.

“Our house seemed to be the hub where everyone would meet and it’s also where Alvin began to perfect his craft,” said Michele Whitehead.

Alvin retired from the Army in 2007. After eight years with a private defense contractor, Alvin was ready for a change.

“I started doing barbecue part-time on the weekend and catering,” he said. “The food truck is how I gathered a following.”

As a food truck, Sticky Bones BBQ would park at the Sam’s Club in Harker Heights and then the Harker Heights Chamber of Commerce before opening up his own restaurant a month ago. Now, Sticky Bones BBQ is serving daily specials at the Harker Heights location formerly known as M&M Coffee House.

Alvin Whitehead’s hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed. In 2013 he won Best BBQ Brisket at the Harker Heights Food and Wine Festival, as well as first place for Hospitality and Friday Feast at the Celebrate Killeen Festival. The team’s Friday Feast entry consisted of grilled pork chops, pork tenderloin topped with homemade pineapple salsa and smashed potatoes.

Sticky Bones BBQ is open Monday through Wednesday from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Thursday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday noon-5 p.m.

Sticky Bones BBQ catering is available for weddings, corporate events, parties and more. The local barbecue shop already has multiple weddings booked as well as an upcoming bridal show in Temple. Arrangements can be made to rent the food truck as well in order to fit a variety of entertaining budgets.

Sticky Bones BBQ groupies, also known as “Stickies” are the restaurant’s backbone, Michele said. The restaurant has more than 700 Facebook “likes.”

One “Sticky” groupie, Sandra Thompson, was the first customer when she hired Sticky Bones BBQ to cater her daughter’s summer birthday party.

“I was their very first catering customer,” Thompson said, “They’ve done it every year since.”

Alvin Whitehead hopes this is only the beginning for Sticky Bones BBQ, dreaming one day his restaurant will be featured on the Food Network’s show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”

“This is the happiest I’ve seen this man in a very long time. He dances and sings all the time now,” Michele said.

To find out more about Sticky Bones BBQ, call 254-630-8647 or visit its website at www.stickybonesbbqtx.com.

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