Woody Phillips, founding father of Los Angeles’s influential restaurant Woody’s Bar-B-Que, died on December 31, 2019. During the last 45 years, Phillips opened three Woody’s Bar-B-Cue places all through South LA, which helped set up the Phillips clan because the Southland’s first household of barbecue. He was 78 years previous.
Based on Woody’s daughter Roderick Phillips, her father had been sick for a while. The elder Phillips suffered his first main stroke on New 12 months’s Eve 2008, and struggled to totally recuperate. Phillips stored an everyday presence at his three eating places in recent times, however with minimal bodily exercise. Woody Phillips celebrated his birthday on December 27, and died 4 days afterward New 12 months’s Eve in 2019.
Roderick Phillips started working on the household enterprise in 1991, and can hold the companies going.
“He’s nonetheless with me. We’re going to attempt to proceed what we’ve been doing for the final 45 years. He didn’t need it to die when he did. I’ll proceed to do the most effective I can to hold on his legacy. ”
Initially from Louisiana, Woody Phillips settled in Los Angeles within the 1960s. Phillips labored at UCLA McDonnell Douglas Plane and even launched a gardening enterprise, amongst others. However within the mid-1970s, he satisfied a proprietor into promoting a restaurant area on Slauson close to Crenshaw Boulevard. The lease and enterprise price $3,500, in response to the Los Angeles Instances, and have become the flagship location for Woody’s Bar-B-Cue in 1975. Phillips labored the barbecue pit whereas his spouse Jenetha dealt with the money register.
Phillips’s barbecue legacy even branched out in South LA. Woody’s cousin Foster Phillips operates the favored Phillips Bar-B-Cue, which has places in West Adams and Inglewood.
Exterior of the barbecue enterprise, Woody Phillips was lively within the South LA group. Over the many years, Phillips helped people begin their very own companies and additional their schooling. He additionally developed a youth ministry for gang members as a member of Holman United Methodist Church in Jefferson Park.
At Woody’s Bar-B-Cue, workers nonetheless put together barbecue on brick ovens with oak wooden, and make the most of a water hose to maintain the hearth down. Woody’s signature smoky taste and sauce is well-known all through Los Angeles, and appreciated by generations of locals.
“A little bit a part of black LA’s soul and heritage dies each time we lose entrepreneurs like Woody”
The late LA Instances critic Jonathan Gold lovingly described Woody’s as “price that look ahead to the crusty pork ribs spurting with juice; thick, blackened sizzling hyperlink sausages; chewy, meaty little rib ideas; fancy-tasting smoked rooster and charred slices of well-done brisket.”
“A little bit a part of black LA’s soul and heritage dies each time we lose entrepreneurs like Woody,” says former LA resident Stevonne Ratliff. “I don’t recall every other restaurant the place you may get sock it to me cake, and completely smoky, spicy ribs. I hate when the old fashioned Black eating places lose their legendary folks as a result of they’re not often changed.”
Lengthy Seaside resident Virgil Petrie used to work close to Inglewood, and the workplace’s favourite is Woody’s. “We love Woody’s at my job,” says Petrie. “I work for a horse racing community and we used to broadcast from Hollywood Park. It didn’t take lengthy for us to search out Woody’s. Often, about thirty of us would chip in earlier than selecting it up. Our newsroom smells heavenly when it’s in the home! I’m sorry to listen to of his passing. Condolences to his household and workers.”
Woody Phillips is survived by his spouse Jenetha Phillips, kids Greg, Tracy, Tyreke, and Roderick Phillips, alongside along with his nieces, nephews, grandchildren, and nice grandchildren.

Woody Phillips’s funeral procession in entrance of the Slauson location for Woody’s Bar-B-CueCourtesy of the Phillips household

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