Popular Silicon Valley BBQ Joint closes after more than 60 years in business

Popular Silicon Valley BBQ Joint closes after more than 60 years in business
Photo via Yelp
By Wesley Severson - Published on October 15, 2021.

The Longhorn Charcoal Pit, at the corner of Fremont Avenue and Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road in Sunnyvale, is no longer serving its tasty steak sandwiches after closing down the restaurant permanently on Sunday. According to the Mercury News, the nostalgic BBQ hotspot in Sunnyvale shut down because the outdated shopping center that houses it is being razed in the name of new development. Housing and new commercial shops will be built in its spot.

The current owners of Longhorn Charcoal Pit have run the business for the last 30 years.

As the Mercury News reports, Dave and Jean Han attached a note to the restaurant thanking patrons for their business. “We regret not being able to give you more advance notice of our closure, but that should not take away from the immense gratitude we feel having been able to operate this restaurant for so long and the joy we have experienced serving and getting to know many of you. We will miss you,” the note said.

The Longhorn was originally opened in 1960, which made it one of Sunnyvale’s oldest restaurants. It was owned first by Peter and Sam Pavlos. To put their prices into perspective over the years, on the Longhorn’s 20th anniversary in 1980, a New York steak with all the sides went for less than five bucks. It was $18.95 when it closed on Sunday. 

Sunnyvale Mayor Larry Klein reviewed the Longhorn during a local business support campaign in the middle of the pandemic, as the Merc notes. “This is a classic diner experience from the past, with wagon wheel chandeliers, Western paraphernalia, and John Wayne photos on the wall,” he wrote in his account. “I ordered their steak sandwich and fries for lunch. This was an old-school lunch, with steak cooked exactly as I ordered, with lettuce, tomatoes, and onions between a fresh bun. It was filling and just like I remembered."

The Hans did leave a glimmer of hope for fans of their food. In their note, they wrote, “This may not be the last time you see us. We intend to remain in the area and may continue in the restaurant business.”