Before we can talk about the barbecue at Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que and Hof’s Hut, we need to go back to a much simpler time in the 1930s where Dirk and Sjoukje (a Dutch immigrant) Hofman opened their beachside restaurant selling hot dogs and hamburgers in Southern California. Not only was Hofman’s Hamburgers and Hot Dogs the place to hang out at the beach during that time, but it was so much more as unbeknownst to them, they were laying the foundation that would become a very successful family restaurant business over the next 75-100 years.
The next chapter in our story brings us to their son Harold who saw the need for a more permanent establishment and year-round restaurant. The year was 1951, and he opened the first Hof’s Hut in Belmont Shore, CA. It just so happened that on that fateful opening day, Harold’s wife, Donna who was waiting tables nine months pregnant went into labor. That evening Craig Hofman was born. He grows up in the family restaurant business eventually taking over to become president of the company. Being the visionary that his father was, he notices the changing dynamics in the family restaurant industry and decides to roll the dice on a southern barbecue restaurant after a friend visiting from the south mentions that there was nowhere to find good barbecue in California. Lucille’s opens in 1999 and has continued the very success that Craig’s father and grandmother established before him. If history is any indicator of the future, look for a future restaurant posting on Back of the Menu from one of his four children who are all sharing in the responsibility of running the family business.
General Restaurant Information
Food Type: Barbecue
Restaurant Type: Casual Dining
U.S. Locations: 22
States: 3 states, Lucille’s Locations
Company Slogan: Lip Smackin’ Good
Questions: Contact Information
Phone number: 562-596-0200
FAQ Page: No
Who Owns Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que? Hof’s Hut (family owned)
Headquartered: Signal Hill, CA
Email/contact page: Hof’s Hut Contact
Address: 2601 East Willow Street, Signal Hill, CA 90755
Do They Franchise? No
Craig’s father, Harold, grew up working summers at the original burger stand. When an injury derailed his budding basketball career, he decided to join the family business. Eventually, he decided to start a year-round enterprise, opening the first Hof’s Hut in Belmont Shore in 1951. The Hofman family still owns the location, which today is the spot for one of its most recent concepts, Saint & Second – named for its address at the corner of St. Joseph Avenue and 2nd Street. (source)
What Is It Like To Work At Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que?
4.0/5 or 80%; 122 Reviews (indeed.com)
2.9/5, or 58%; 93 Reviews (glassdoor.com)
The History of Lucille’s
Original Location: 7411 Carson. St., Long Beach, CA
Founded: December 6, 1999
Founded By: Craig Hofman
Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que owner launching 35 pizzerias (ocregister.com)
Craig Hofman Named Entrepreneur Of The Year (gazettes.com)
Founder Obituary: Still Living
Name Origin: Fictitious name created by Craig Hofman.
Lucille’s History Page: Company History Page
Current View of Original Location: 7411 Carson Street as it is today (link may not work on mobile devices without Google Maps)
Hof’s Hut (wikiwand.com)
Charity Focus: No resources found
Green | Eco-Friendly: No resources found
Animal Cruelty: No resources found
Discounts At Lucille’s
Rewards Program: Lucille’s Reward Program (“Become A Preferred Guest”)
Do Kids Eat Free at Lucille’s?
Summary: Lucille’s doesn’t offer a kids eat free promotion.
Does Lucille’s Offer Military Discounts?
Summary: Based on external sources, Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que does offer military (Veteran) discounts –
“During November, active duty and veteran military personnel get 20% off. On Veterans Day, active duty military and veterans get a complimentary dessert on top of the 20%” (military.com)
“On Veterans Day, active and former military can enjoy a complimentary dessert and a 20% discount with proof of service. Veterans receive 20% off the entire month of November for ‘Military Family Month.” (militarybenefits.info)
“During November, active duty and veteran military personnel get 20% off. On Veterans Day, active duty military and veterans get a complimentary dessert on top of the 20%.” (militaryconnection.com)
What Does Lucille’s offer for My Birthday!?
Summary: Lucille’s birthday promotions vary by location so contact your local store to inquire.
Does Lucille’s Offer First Responder Discounts?
Summary: No resources found.
Does Lucille’s Offer Senior Citizen | AARP Discounts?
Summary: No resources found.
Are There Any Other Discounts or Benefits at Lucille’s?
Summary: Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que reward program or Preferred Guests as they call it states that you “Stay in the loop with special offers and events.”. It isn’t a big incentive to join and is lacking in creativity, but if you’re a fan, it can’t hurt to join.
Order Online: Online Order
WiFi Available: Yes
Use Apple Pay: No
Catering: Lucille’s Catering
Open 24 Hours: No
Craig’s father died the same year he graduated from high school and left Long Beach to attend Arizona State University. His mother, Donna, took over running the business, which had expanded to five Hof’s Hut locations. “After a couple years, she said . . . ‘If you’re interested in taking these [restaurants] over at some point, you need to come back here and help me,’” Craig recalled. “So I left Arizona State, went to work for the company and finished my degree at Long Beach State.” (source)
Customer Reviews of Lucille’s
Yelp: 3.55/5 or 71%, 9,324 reviews sampled
Tripadvisor: 4.00/5 or 80%, 2,910 reviews sampled
Overall Average: 3.78/5 or 76%, 12,234 reviews sampled
Lucille's Smokehouse & Related Items on Amazon
Food & Nutrition
Menu: Lucille’s Menu
Kids Menu: Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que Kids Menu
Secret Menu: No resources found
Most Popular Menu Item: BBQ Rib Tip Appetizer
Coke or Pepsi: Coke
Does Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que Serve Alcohol: Yes
Nutritional Information: Lucille’s Nutrition Guide
Vegetarian | Vegan Options: No resources found
Farm to Table | Organic Options | Clean | Non-GMO: No resources found
Miscellaneous Nutrition Resources:
Healthier Barbecue on the Menu (healthydiningfinder.com)
Lucille’s Smokehouse BBQ Menu (healthydiningfinder.com)
Allergen Information: Gluten-free menu only
Gluten Free Options: Lucille’s Gluten Free Menu
Dairy Free Options: No resources found, but the following may be helpful to you.
Restaurant Guide For Dairy-Free Dining (godairyfree.org)
Peanut Free Options: No resources found, but the following may be helpful to you.
Food Allergy Guides For Many Chain Restaurants (verywellhealth.com)
Ways to Eliminate Risks of Peanut Allergy When Dining Out (healthguidance.org)
Does Lucille’s Have Any Secret Recipes?
Lucille’s Secret Recipes:
Buttermilk Biscuits & Honey Butter (wildwildwhisk.com)
Apple Cinnamon Toast Butter (couponclippingcook.com)
Baked Beans (justapinch.com)
Mashed Potatoes (cookieandkate.com)
Did You Know?
Craig Hofman was born the night the first Hof’s Hut restaurant opened. As his dad cooked, his mom, Donna was serving food as a waitress (nine months pregnant) when she went into labor. Craig was born later that night at St. Mary’s hospital. (source)
The restaurant business began in the Hofman family with Craig’s grandmother, Chaki Hofman, who opened a beach stand restaurant, Hofman’s Hamburgers and Hot Dogs in Long Beach in the 1930’s. The stand sold Hof’s burgers for $.15 and hot dogs for $.10. (source)
Chaki’s son (and Craig’s dad), Harold saw the need for a more established and year-round restaurant, so he and his wife Donna opened the legendary Hof’s Hut in 1951 in Belmont Shore, CA. Hof’s Hut would go on to be very successful in California over the coming decades eventually leading Craig to become president. (source)
Craig felt the need to change directions to compete with the changing family restaurant industry in the 1990’s and after a lot of research and development was able to create Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que. The initial concept came when a friend from the south was visiting Craig and mentioned there was nowhere in California to find good southern barbecue. (source)
The Hof’s Hut company owned a Spin Pizza franchise for a while in Southern California but no longer owns any stores. (source)
In the first decade, it was open, Lucille’s was one of the most profitable restaurants in the country. (source)
All four of Craig Hoffman’s kids and his wife play a vital role in running the family business. (source)
Craig Hofman was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 2013 by City National Bank (source)
Lucille’s has a smoker inside the heart of their restaurant, and it comes with a name, “Smokestack Lightnin.” The smoker sits in the middle of the restaurant, comes with a bell to notify guests that they can come up and watch the barbecue in action. (source)
It’s nothing for Lucille’s to have a 1-2 hour wait on the weekends. (source)
SH-based Hof’s Hut Restaurants Inc. changes the name to Hofman Hospitality Group, takes on Spin pizza brand (signaltribunenewspaper.com)
Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que place smokin’ in Rocklin (placerherald.com)
Lucille's Smokehouse & Related Items on Amazon
Followers (as of August 2018) –
Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que does not currently have any mobile apps
For a listing of all our restaurants, simply go to our Restaurants Page.
Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que is yet another restaurant chain that I knew nothing of before starting my research. When I began reviewing the company, it was just another barbecue restaurant that I needed to check off my ever-growing list of restaurants. Sadly, there aren’t even any good articles to be found in the chain. Were they merely another restaurant chain with no story owned by some investment group that is only interested in the bottom line? But if that were the case, why the extreme loyalty and a large number of positive reviews? Something wasn’t adding up.
So I kept digging. I’m so happy I did.
They absolutely have a story dating back to the 1930s in Southern California. They are a family owned business and have been for almost 100 years! Are you kidding? Not only is the grandson, Craig president of the Hofman Hospitality Group, but his wife and all four children are critical members of the company. Did I mention they have a huge smoker in the middle of the restaurant that they give tours to (notifying customers with a bell!) anyone who wants to come up and watch. No wonder there is a 2-hour wait on the weekend. Next time you’re in California, yes In-N-Out is a must, but so is Lucille’s.
Another story that needed to be told.
I hope you found the information on Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que helpful and insightful; I know I did. The more we know and understand about the restaurants we eat at, the better decisions we can make of where and what we should eat. If you found this article helpful, would you please help others by sharing this with your friends and family. If there is anything you would like to see about a restaurant that’s not already listed or if there is anything I can do to make your restaurant experiences better, please leave a comment below, I would love your feedback! You can also email me at any time backofthemenu@ gmail.com. Thanks so much for your time, I know how valuable it is.