Ribs (Photo courtesy of Barbizzas)

NOW OPEN: Barbizza’s Brings Memphis-Style Barbecue & Pizza to the East Side

December 28, 2023
By Matt Sterner

Back in July, Mama’s Hawaiian Bar-B-Cue closed its very last restaurant at 6310 E. Tanque Verde Rd. #120, which is right on the corner where Pima Street meets Wilmot Road. Wilmot Road then becomes Tanque Verde Road on that very corner (I know, it’s confusing) but that’s not the importance of this article.

What we want to shine a light on is Barbizza’s — a brand-new Memphis-style barbecue restaurant that also serves pizza, spaghetti, sandwiches, and more. The new restaurant opened on Wednesday, December 27.

Dining room (Photo courtesy of Barbizzas)

Frank and Karla Cruce moved from Memphis to Tucson in June of this year. This isn’t their first rodeo, so to speak, when it comes to living in the Old Pueblo. They both lived in the city when they were teenagers.

“We always loved the area,” said Karla, “We decided to move here and start a business with his dad’s (a Navy Veteran) recipe for ribs, and then add our family’s favorite pizza recipes, too.

Memphis is famous for a few things like being the birthplace of rock and roll or being the home of blues, but when it comes to food, barbecue quickly comes to mind. It tends to be all about pork, too, whether it be shoulders, butts, ribs, pulled pork, etc.

At Barbizza’s, the likes of Memphis-style Hickory Smoked St. Louis Ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, chicken stir fry, and a Cajun Flat Iron Sandwich (slow roasted pork on a toasted hoagie roll with creamy spiced pickled relish) grace the menu.

a plate of food with meat and vegetables
Stir Fry (Photo courtesy of Barbizzas)

“We love food and have always loved entertaining at home,” Karla added. “Friends would always tell us that we should open a restaurant and share our food with others… so, that’s what we are doing!” We are a family-owned business and advocated most of our funds to refurbish the old Mama’s Hawaiian BBQ space — we found it in poor shape.”

So, comin’ in hotter than a Hot Link Smoked Sausage sandwich, Barbizza’s is ready to serve your barbecue needs on the east side. The current menu can be found on Barbizza’s website, which can also be ordered online for delivery or takeout.

The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Monday – Saturday and from noon – 8 p.m. on Sunday.

Barbizza’s is located at 6310 E. Tanque Verde Rd. #120. For more information, call (520) 526-2181 or visit barbizzas.com.

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