Big Kahuna manager, Darren Stone (left), and owner Richard Byars (right) prepare entrees in Rogersville's first mobile food unit.
ROGERSVILLE - Mobile Food, the culinary trend sweeping the
nation, caught a wave to Tennesse and has washed ashore in Rogersville!
Richard Byars, owner of Big Kahuna, Hawkins County's first Mobile Food unit, says that the
name of his business is also his nickname.
"In the 60's movies with
Frankie Avalon and Annette, there was a character in the movies named Big Kahuna. Being from that
era myself, I picked up the nickname," says Byers.
The 14-year restaurant veteran and
former "91 Charlie" nurse in the United States Army is joined by manager, Darren Stone.
Stone, a former diesel mechanic for the United State Marines, partnered
with Byers to form a catering business in Louisiana where they were contracted for over three years
as caters for the sports and leisure department at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
"He (Byers wanted to open something mobile so we could go wherever we
chose," says Stone, of the move from Louisiana.
Though hesitant, at first,
Stone agreed to give the mobile business a shot. A mutual friend in charge of the Virginia State
Fairgrounds invited Big Kahuna to the fair, where their customer service, tasty cuisine, and large
portions led to string of bookings for future horse shows, fairs, and festivals.
After three months of traveling, Stone decided that it was time to act
upon Byers' suggestion of a move to the Kingsport, home to much of Byers' family. Byers and Stone
managed the Big Kahuna unit on Stone Drive for about 4 months, but business was slower than what the
two had envisioned. Since moving to Rogersville, Stone reports that business has doubled.
"The customers here are friendly," says Stone. "The people around the
area are very generous. I lived in Hawaii for four and a half years when I was in the Marine Corps
and I sort of get the vibe like I am back in Hawaii with some of the customers. They are just really
down to earth."
"It's quiet," smiles the Missouri native. "I like quiet."
Stone describes the Big Kahuna menu, featuring sandwiches, subs,
bar-b-que, fries, nachos and burritos, and pasta as "a little bit of
Stone's favorite menu item, the Big Kahuna Philly Steak, is
also the most popular among his customers. He recommends the chicken and rice dish or jambalaya for
those who enjoy lighter fare.
"A lot of customers tell me that they
no longer have to travel to Kingsport to find a good Philly because they have found it in
Rogersville," Stone reports.
"We care a lot about our customer service," says
Stone. "I want our customers to be happy and encourage them to tell us they think we can improve. We
love customer comments!"
A convenient "big board" is posted on the
tent adjacent to the Big Kahuna unit and lists all menu items, condiments, and sides. All
burgers are dressed with lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, pickles, ketchup, mustard, and cheese unless a
customer asks for an omission.
Plans for a permanent structure are in the
works. In the meantime, Stone says that customers can expect the addition of a climate-controlled
patio in the coming months.
The Big Kahuna is located between Pals and
Arby's restaurants on Hwy 66 in Rogersville and is open Monday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. -10
p.m. Call ahead is available and deliveries are coming soon.
information or inquire about catering services, contact Big Kahuna by phone (801) 259-3499, email (email@example.com
) or facebook.