Honey Bear's BBQ is well known for the secret Tennessee barbecue flavors and sauces which have been handed down through generations for over 50 years to Gary Clark and Mark Smith.
Childhood friends and business partners Mark Smith and Gary Clark, grew up together in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. They came to Scottsdale Community College in 1980 to play football and get their degrees in business. Catering college affairs to cover their expenses, their barbecues gained immense popularity. Brought to a turning point in their lives, the partners bought a van and portable barbecue pit and started an on-site catering business all over the Phoenix area.
In 1986, at the age of 24, they opened their first Honey Bear’s restaurant on East Van Buren Street. It immediately received the New Times Best of Phoenix Award, a distinction it has been awarded every year since.
By the time they opened their second restaurant on North Central Avenue in January of 1998, their catering business had expanded so much that they had to move many of the catering preparations to a nearby commissary. Six years later, in July 2004, they opened their 3rd restaurant located in Tempe at Priest and Elliot. By then, they had grown from a single truck to three restaurants, nine delivery trucks and 70 plus employees.
After 25 years, they have perfected not only their sauce, but the go-withs as well. Well known for the secret Tennessee barbecue flavors and sauces, unlike any that can be found in Arizona. Honey Bears BBQ has become one of the most talked about restaurants in Arizona, and one that has changed the way Arizonians eat BBQ!