If you go
Location: 2582 Eastern Blvd., Springettsbury Township, in the Kingston Square shopping center
Cuisine: Southern-style barbecue
Rebecca's pick: Barbecue sliders ($7.99) plus a side of smoked baked beans ($1.95)
Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays, closed Mondays
Price range: $1.95, creamy mac and cheese; $23.99 four meats platter
Accepts: Cash and credit
Kid's menu: Yes
Details: Call 717-885-5388 or online at neverforgottenbbq.com or search Facebook for Never Forgotten BBQ
In the year that Bill Kohler opened Never Forgotten BBQ in Springettsbury Township, the business has become a resource for veterans throughout York County.
Step inside the restaurant, nestled in the Kingston Square Shopping Center, and you'll be taken in by walls covered with photos of men and women who have served our country. Newspaper clippings, letters from home and posters congratulating service members on their achievements adorn the walls in a proud display of gratitude.
A veteran himself, Kohler was injured in 2006 and returned home, where he "fell in the cracks," he said.
He didn't feel like he had a support system to show him how to get help or which organizations could get him back to something that looked like normal.
After a failed attempt at a political career — his one hope at being an advocate for other veterans — Kohler was back at the start, and wanted to find a new way of helping others who might feel as lost as he did.
While shopping at another business in the Kingston Square Shopping Center, Kohler took a moment to take a look through the windows of the space that would soon become his restaurant. Working with a friend who ran a catering company, Kohler took over the space and opened Never Forgotten BBQ.
"The timing of everything was great," Kohler said. "The space had everything we needed, other than a little bit of cooking equipment."
While the restaurant specialized in smoked meats and comfort-style sides, the real heart of the business isn't in the food that comes out on the plate. The drive behind Kohler, and the restaurant itself, is to help veterans.
Most days, Kohler will be approached by veterans who tell their own stories or visitors who point to the wall and retell the story of a family member whose face is lovingly posted for all to see. Kohler wanted people to remember who the veterans were — a big inspiration behind his decision to decorate the space with their images.
During a recent visit, my husband and I snagged a table near the front of the restaurant before ordering from the small, but meat-heavy menu.
I opted for the sliders, which can be ordered as a single sandwich ($2.99) or three ($7.99) with a side of cole slaw. While the sliders are normally served on York City Pretzel Company pretzel buns, Never Forgotten happened to be out that day and I had potato rolls as a backup. I added a side of the smoked baked beans ($1.95).
My husband ordered the brisket platter ($17.99), which came with corn bread and a choice of one side. He opted for the hand-cut steak fries.
Diners also can choose from St. Louis ribs ($15.99 for a half slab; $22.95 for a full slab), pulled pork, chicken, turkey or house made cajun sausage ($12.99), or a half chicken ($11.99). Many of the meats also can be served as a sandwich. Southern fried catfish is also a popular option ($8.99).
All of the sides are made from scratch, including the collard greens, dill potato salad, house made chips and roasted sweet potato fries (ranging in price from $1.95 to $2.50 each).
The restaurant also features the occasional chef-inspired creations, such as pork belly BLTs.
While the menu has a lot of heart put into it, Kohler's mission to help veterans is what really drives him in his business.
"It's created a sense of community I never expected," he said. "I'm really happy that it's turned into this."
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