By Karla Florence Smith
Although he passed away in 1994, the good-cooking influence of Colorado’s best-known food philanthropist and famous barbecue chef “Daddy” Bruce Randolph, Sr. lives on in Centennial.
Ron Mitchell, cousin of the late Daddy Bruce, and Winston Hill, a former New York Giant’s player, were both mentored by Daddy Bruce and worked in his restaurant that was located on 34th Avenue, near Five Points. Now, Mitchell and Hill are partners in Winston Hill’s Ribs & Stuff, a take-out restaurant that opened in 1991 at 5090 E. Arapahoe Road in the Arapahoe Village Shopping Center.
Here, tender and juicy cooked meats—beef, chicken, hot wings, pork ribs, ham, and turkey—are accompanied by Winston Hill’s delicious barbecue sauce, beans, Daddy Bruce’s coleslaw, and Mitchell’s potato salad.
“The basic barbecue sauce recipe comes from Daddy Bruce, but we tweaked the recipe so that it’s ours,” said Mitchell, who runs the restaurant six days a week and does all the cooking. “For the beans, we take canned beans and we fix them up and add some meat to them. You won’t get them out of the can the way you get them here.”
Mitchell, who moved here from Pine Bluff, Ark., in 1981, managed Daddy Bruce’s downtown restaurant from 1981 through 1986, and coordinated the Daddy Bruce Thanksgiving feast from 1982 through 1986.
“That’s where I got most of my knowledge and skills—if you want to call it that—with barbecue,” said Mitchell.
He added that the annual Thanksgiving feast, which fed thousands of people, was something to look forward to and very satisfying. Winston Hill’s Ribs & Stuff occupies a small corner of the shopping center. It’s hard to miss the large wood-burning smoker that’s attached through the wall to the outside of the building, and it’s harder to escape the aroma of meat and poultry cooking in the smoker, which is fed chunks of hickory and oak throughout the day.
“We get all of our wood from Rocky Mountain Firewood in Denver,” said Mitchell. “They bring the wood in from different places in the south, like Oklahoma and Texas, because you can’t get it here.”
When asked what draws people to his small take-out restaurant, which seats two or three inside and four more outside, on nice days, Mitchell said, of course, it’s the food.
“We don’t have any ambience so it has to be the food,” he said. “It’s very personal. You know who’s doing the cooking.”
Not only are locals glad to have this mouth-watering barbecue nook in their neck of the woods, but also the Red Rocks Café at DIA offers Winston Hill’s barbecue, which is delivered to them twice a week.
Winston Hill’s Ribs & Stuff is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (closed from 2 to 4 p.m.). The restaurant is closed on Sundays because that’s when Mitchell takes a much-needed day off.
All of their meats are “slow smoked on site the old fashioned way,” with meal prices range from $4.50 to $10.75, and all items are available a la carte. They offer take-out and catering.
If you’re having a get-together, give them a call to place your order or just stop by.
“We’re here,” said Mitchell. “Put us on your to-do list. And come in and let us make your palates happy.”
To place an order, call 303-843-6475 or you can fax it to 720-489-7911.