Phoenix, Arizona: Bill Johnson's Big Apple BBQ (Closed)

Old time eatery known for its improvised decorations and, yes, its food.

On the south side of E. Van Buren St. just west of N. 38th St.
May 2015: Reported closed.

Visitor Tips and News About Bill Johnson's Big Apple BBQ

Reports and tips from visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

Bill Johnson's Big Apple BBQ

Sadly the restaurant is closing its doors on May 24, 2015. It will be made into a parking lot for the community college.

[Karen Mcconaghy, 05/22/2015]
Bill Johnson's Big Apple BBQ

It should be mentioned that Bill Johnson's Big Apple has been around since the 1950s. There is a fake "jail cell" where Johnson used to broadcast live radio shows. Many country music stars of that era came by the radio station, and their photos are on the wall. Johnson also had a monkey that dressed as a beatnik, drank beer, and played bongos, and you can see photos of the chimp too. They also hosted hot rod and custom car shows back in the day -- more cool pictures on the wall.

This place is a real treasure -- if you go there, you have to look around the whole place to get the full experience!

[Deke Dickerson, 09/29/2012]

Big Apple neon sign.

Bill Johnson's Big Apple BBQ

Bill Johnson's Big Apple has it all: a diorama featuring a cowboy, a mule and a pig on a spit, awesome neon sign, custom Formica tables and plenty of stuff tacked to the walls.

Old-timey BBQ joint with bountiful portions at pittance prices. Vegetarians can find things to eat if they order creatively.

[Lisa Marie Kuta, 07/28/2009]

Latest Tips Across Roadside America

Catch up on the latest discoveries from the road.

Explore Thousands of Oddball Tourist Attractions!

Unique destinations in the U.S. and Canada are our special obsession. Use our attraction recommendation and maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Create Your Own Bizarre Road Trips! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

Arizona Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Point Reyes Lighthouse: The Fog, Inverness, California (Jun 27-Jul 3, 2022)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings