BY CORIE LYNN
Bricks Rockin’ BBQ may be one of Hays’ newest restaurants, but its owners have years of experience in the restaurant business.
David and Jacob Proffitt own several area businesses, including Taco Grande, Tiger Burgers and The Uptown Fox. Their pitmaster Patsy Prim Denault of Russell, who goes by Patsy D, has thirty years of restaurant experience.
“[I]t will be a year ago from this November, we decided we were going to open a barbecue restaurant,” Jacob Proffitt said. “This was the building we wanted. It was tied up in some estates that were dealing, so we had to wait for it to become available to purchase.”
Though Bricks Rockin’ BBQ will not open until Jan. 2, the restaurant and its owners are already making their home in downtown Hays, in a building that was formerly a music store. It was this history that inspired the rock and roll theme of the restaurant.
The food, however, was purely inspired by Kansas City-style barbecue.
“Everything is wood-fired. I mean, this is actually wood-fired barbecue, not Crock Pot or infused. There’s no liquid smoke. It’s real barbecue,” Jacob Proffitt said.
The brothers cite the combined efforts of Patsy D and Gerry Hurt as the force behind their traditional, pit barbecue.
“Between [Hurt] and Patsy,” Jacob Proffitt said, “it’s kind of neat because, you know, both of them are open to whatever the best is. So they kind of go back and forth and work together and created a menu.”
Patsy D, though, is the driving force behind the food, having created her own rubs and sauce, which she will use at Bricks.
Her first foray into barbecue came when she bought a barbecue grill, handbuilt on a trailer by her brother. As a favor to him, she bought the grill, agreeing to allow family to use it whenever they needed.
“It took me about seven years to learn it, learn the grill, and now it’s what I love to do,” Patsy D said.
A long-time friend of the Proffitt family, Patsy D entered the world of professional barbeque after asking the brothers if she could go to work for them. Now, after decades working at restaurants such as Meridy’s in Russell, she has achieved her dream of owning her own.
Patsy D explained that, besides creating recipes and sampling new dishes for Bricks, her partnership with the Proffitts is her favorite part of the restaurant.
“Russell is home and I look forward to being here in Hays and serving the best barbeque we can do,” she said. “I look forward to getting my barbeque sauce up and out, [for] people to try it. I’ve got new things coming with that, and I look forward to serving Hays.”
The Proffitt brothers, too, look forward to serving Hays. Their excitement stems from sharing a menu completely different from any of their other restaurants.
“What we try to do is we always try to have a unique menu. You know, we own Tiger Burger, so we’re not going to do burgers. So we always try to do something that’s not in town, that’s not offered,” David Proffitt said.
This unique menu is entirely homemade, from the potato salad to the coleslaw, and the brisket and pork butts are smoked for a minimum of 15 hours. And guests can enjoy it all in the atmosphere of the historic building.
“We believe that interstate stuff is literally for travelers,” David Proffitt said, “but the people who go to school in Hays or live in Hays, downtown is what belongs to them. So we’ve always loved to take the old buildings downtown and redo them and make the old history part of the new future.”
Though the restaurant will not open for another month, the Proffitts and Patsy D are welcoming guests to Bricks from 4-8 p.m.on Dec. 16.
That evening, they are hosting a fundraiser for the family of a local girl who is suffering from a heart condition. For $20, guests can enjoy a first taste of Bricks’ barbecue and rest knowing that all of the proceeds will go to the family.
More information about the fundraiser and the family can be found on the Bricks Rockin’ BBQ Facebook page.
As opening day approaches, the Proffitts and Patsy D are looking forward to sharing their restaurant, and its wood-fired food, with the community.
“It’s just going to be nice to have a real, traditional pit barbeque place to eat at again,” David Proffitt said. “I mean, Kansas is all about barbeque.”