Despite its building being decimated by a fire and red-tagged, the hit West Oakland restaurant Horn Barbecue was still handing out free turkeys to those in need Wednesday afternoon. Chef Tyler Florence was on hand helping, while a GoFundMe campaign seeks to rebuild the place.
While Horn Barbecue was pretty much destroyed by a fire early Tuesday morning, the restaurant’s celebrated chef Matt Horn still carried on earlier this afternoon with a Thanksgiving turkey giveaway at the ruined site of Horn Barbecue. And yes, that is celebrity chef and serial restaurateur Tyler Florence was there handing out turkeys along with him.
Despite yesterday's fire at Horn BBQ, Matt Horn is handing out free turkeys outside of the burnt West Oakland establishment today with help from family and friends, including his mother Enola and @TylerFlorence. More from @jesssmflores on @sfchronicle https://t.co/PS9CKirVH0 pic.twitter.com/36MnCleoun— Jessica Christian (@jachristian) November 22, 2023
As one would imagine, the restaurant has launched a GoFundMe to restore Horn Barbecue, which has raised nearly $40,000 of its $200,000 goal in less than 24 hours. Horn’s wife and president of the Horn Hospitality Group Nina Horn says on the campaign’s site that “Your contribution, no matter the size, will be a vital part of rebuilding what we lost. It will go towards renovating our cherished space, providing support to our dedicated staff who are the backbone of Horn Barbecue, and ensuring that the flavors and warmth that have united us continue to flourish.”
Here's their GoFundMe to help get through this: https://t.co/v1iuXBQhWm— Marcia Gagliardi (@tablehopper) November 22, 2023
And while Matt Horn had a few brief words with KTVU in the immediate aftermath of Tuesday’s fire, he opened up more in a Tuesday night Instagram post — one that shows the charred remains of his 2021 Michelin Bib Gourmand distinction.
“Today, I awoke to news that seemed like a bad dream: Horn Barbecue, my beloved restaurant, was engulfed in flames early this morning,” Horn posted. “Yet, it's in these moments of trial that our true strength is revealed. Despite the emptiness I feel, I am reminded of the greater challenges and hardships faced by many around us. This perspective not only fuels my resolve but also reinforces the importance of our mission. Our commitment to Horn Barbecue and to Oakland is unbreakable.”
Chef Matt Horn addressed the devastating news of the fire at Horn Barbecue on his personal Instagram:— The E'ville Eye News (@TheEvilleEye) November 22, 2023
“Today, I awoke to news that seemed like a bad dream: Horn Barbecue, my beloved restaurant, was engulfed in flames early this morning. In those early moments, as I processed the… pic.twitter.com/HBmR6MHSkK
And given that Horn Barbecue was hit hard by graffiti vandals not even two days before the fire, some have questioned whether the fire may have been arson. The cause of the blaze has still not been determined, but Oakland City Councilmember Carol Fife, who represents the district, told the Chronicle that she’s heard from the Horn family that “it looks very intentional.”
“Oakland should be able to have nice things," Fife added. "Regardless of race, (people) shouldn’t be attacking small businesses but it is more difficult for Black businesses to get access to credit loans and all of the things that it takes to be successful in business.”
According to SFGate, “Officials are still determining if the building is salvageable.” Horn’s other Oakland establishments Kowbird and Matty’s Old Fashioned are still open, and could use the support right about now.
Image via GoFundMe