Article by ShaCamree Gowdy
Husband and wife duo transforms café that they met at into quality food truck
“I was working at a pizza shop when I was 15 and fell in love with the restaurant business. It was when I went to culinary school when I wanted to open my own place,” Patrick Joyce said, recalling the moment he knew he wanted to own a restaurant.
Joyce is a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, native and owner of a food truck called the South Side BBQ Company, which he operates with his Brigitte.
Joyce and Brigitte went into business together in 2002. “We were both already working in the [food] business and that’s even how we met,” said Joyce. “We’re both very passionate about this neighborhood, and our great customers, and of course the food. Put it all together, and this restaurant is a dream come true.”
Joyce became a chef through the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts. The husband and wife duo, both 57 years old, met in 1988 while working in the kitchen together at the 17th Street Café. They started dating in 1993 and married in 1995. Joyce moved on to other adventures in 1995 and in 2002, came back and bought the café. They continued operating as the 17th Street Café until 2013, before rebranding it to what it is today.
“It was one of the first trucks to hit the market and with quality food and great service it was a hit,” he said. Joyce says the biggest con of owning a food truck is that it is not something that it is a seasonal business "The only thing different would be to have realized [that] it is a seasonal business and not year round,” he said. “We operate from March until November.”
“Growing up in Pittsburgh in the 70's was unbelievable,” said Joyce. “Seeing the Steelers crawl out basement of the NFL to becoming the powerhouse they are today is surreal. I was fortunate to have grown up in the neighborhood where the Steelers lived. The likes of Ray Mansfield, Jack Ham, Andy Russel and the Legend Coach Chuck Knoll.”
Asked if he would do it all over again if given the opportunity, Joyce replied, “I have no regrets it's been a great ride.”
For more information or to purchase a football season tailgate package from the South Side BBQ Company, you can contact Patrick Joyce at 412-491-1997. Be sure to check out their popular menu item, the "Bar-ba-Cone".