Robert and Debi Santoro both retired to Payson in 2018 with the hope that they would be able to share their love of BBQ with those around them. Debi, a retired elementary school teacher, and Robert, an amazing kitchen building artist, would enter into BBQ competitions whenever they had the chance. Robert had been keeping an eye out for an opportunity to buy property to pursue his dream of opening a great BBQ restaurant. When he found out the historic Journigan House was up for sale, he knew this would be the perfect location to realize his dream. So begins the story of Rim Country BBQ. Like every great story of the wild west, our story begins at the poker table.
While playing cards at a local card club, Robert met Steve Wilson. Robert had an article on his phone about an Arizona Competition BBQ Team that placed third overall at the most prestigious BBQ competition in the world, The Jack Daniels Invitational World Championship. He asked Steve, “is this you?” Steve answered “yes” with a prideful smile. Steve told Robert about the many other victories he achieved while competing in KCBS events, including when he won a Camaro. When you get Robert and Steve talking about BBQ it is hard to stop them. Robert told Steve he was planning to open Rim Country BBQ in Payson and asked if Steve would be his Pitmaster. Steve said, "Hell yes, I'm all in!”
With his Pitmaster running the kitchen, Robert soon went searching for another key element to the restaurant. Someone to manage the fantastic Bar and Patio. Robert found long-time Payson resident April Lynn. She brings over thirty years of bartending and management experience to our saloon.
With Robert's direction, Steve's skills on the smoker, and April's experience at the bar, we believe we've created a great management team. We look forward to bringing Payson a fabulous new place for family and friends to relax and enjoy a great meal at reasonable prices, in a fun, casual setting.
It is our pleasure to bring World Class BBQ to beautiful Payson, Arizona. Rim Country BBQ is a place where our guests can share our love for great food. Our goal is to consistently deliver the best BBQ you’ve had each time you visit our restaurant. We believe Rim Country BBQ will soon be the best BBQ restaurant not only in Payson but the best in Arizona.
OWNER & GENERAL
Robert Santoro retired from the Motion Picture/Television industry. Working closely with the Food Network Channel, he designed and supplied high-end, commercial mobile kitchens to many popular Food Network shows. Throughout his dealings with some of the best restaurateurs in America and entering BBQ competitions in his free time, Robert knew he would eventually open his own restaurant. Now that his dream is reality he brings his
experience to Payson, making the best BBQ in Arizona!
Steve Wilson has spent every spare moment of the last decade perfecting his BBQ craft. His dedication and hard work culminated in winning third place overall at the Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational. His love for BBQ shines through into every plate he makes. If he wouldn't send it to the judges, he won't send it to your table. His goal is to deliver consistently exceptional BBQ every time you order.
April Lynn is a long-time resident of Payson. She has planted her roots here and is a proud member of the Payson Pro Rodeo Committee. She brings over thirty years of bartending and management experience to our saloon. Her amazing personality brightens every room she steps into. As the inventor of many of our Founder's Cocktails, she has shown how creative she is. Stop by to see her in action behind the bar! You won't leave disappointed.