Barbecue chef Matt Horn announced Thursday morning that, following yet another theft at his burned-out restaurant, he will not be reopening the business in that Mandela Parkway location.

Horn Barbecue opened to immediate crowds and much acclaim in the fall of 2020, becoming a pandemic-era hit with its excellent, Texas-influenced and takeout-friendly barbecue offerings. It took over the space that was the longtime home of Brown Sugar Kitchen in West Oakland, and became even more popular than that restaurant had been in its heyday.

A year later, Matt Horn was popping up on national best-new-chef lists, and he then opened fried-chicken spot Kowbird to immediate lines in January 2022. That was followed last summer by the opening of Matty's Old Fashioned in Old Oakland, which is more of a sit-down, meat-focused restaurant.

But 2023 wasn't the best of years for Horn and his businesses. Even though the Chronicle has been light on restaurant reviews in the last couple years, associate critic Cesar Hernandez still found time to write a pretty bad review of Matty's Old Fashioned and its $19 hot dog.

And then in November, a fire tore through Horn Barbecue, destroying much of the building and leaving it red-tagged. Subsequently, as Horn explains in an Instagram post today, in recent months, there were squatters living in the burned-out building, and "structural damage with the piping and electrical systems being stripped."

The restaurant's shipping container was also vandalized, and its van parked outside was tagged, and the engine was ripped out of it.

Horn also cites "continuous theft and crime in the vicinity" and says, "These occurrences, each an ordeal on their own, collectively have created an environment that, at this point, is untenable for us to operate in safely and effectively."

It's not clear whether Horn may have a new location in mind — though his post says "These challenges have galvanized our determination to find a new beginning, to continue serving and supporting the Oakland community that has stood by us."

Horn Barbecue had already been hit with graffiti and theft before November's fire. And Matt Horn took to social media after one burglary of the restaurant's trailer last fall saying, "To you cowardly individuals responsible for this, hear me clearly: you are nothing more than the filth that plagues our beautiful city. Your actions are a pathetic display of ignorance and disrespect."

Horn suggested in November that his post might have instigated an arson at the restaurant — though the cause of the fire has not been determined.

He discusses this in a self-produced documentary short called "Rising from the Ashes" that was put on YouTube in January.

"Our commitment to providing a space where love, service, and community thrive remains as strong as ever," Horn says in his post today.

As Berkeleyside notes, a GoFundMe campaign launched in the wake of the fire has raised $130,000 to date, and Horn Barbecue also was approved for a $100,000 grant from the Alameda County Board of Supervisors that was part of COVID relief funds, but has not yet received those funds.

All of that is still kind of small change when you're talking about building out and opening an entirely new restaurant. So, this could take a while.

Meanwhile, Horn has also faced some legal challenges, including a $167,000 court settlement in December that he was ordered to pay to former business partner David Kim.

Previously: Oakland’s Horn Barbecue Severely Damaged by Early Tuesday Morning Fire

*This post has been corrected to show that Horn Barbecue has not yet received the grant money from Alameda County.