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Papa Joes rolls out $4.99 lunch to celebrate
State lifts hold on beer & wine sales after taxes are all settled
pic papajoe
Papa Joe Lee of Papa Joe’s “Big” BBQ and Steak House is once again serving up beer and wine to go along with meals after the California Board of Equalization lifted the three-month alcohol license suspension due to late taxes. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT
Robert Lee is focusing his attention on the day-to-day operations of Papa Joe’s “Big” BBQ and Steak House.

One way he hopes to entice customers to the Manteca restaurant located at 128 E. Alameda St., particularly in these tough economic times, is with the new $4.99 lunch menu consisting of one of five items.

Included is barbecue ribs, chicken, or hot link, for example, served with one side dish of choice.

“We may be seen more as an upper class steak house,” Lee said on Tuesday. “That’s why we’re offering the lower-priced lunches.”

He recently had to do without as the California Board of Equalization put a temporary hold on his alcohol license due to late taxes.

Lee admitted that the mistake was an oversight on his part caused in part by juggling bills. Much of that, he said, had to do with the overhead of operating a restaurant, including enormous utility bills generated while running the refrigeration system and lights 24/7.

The sagging economy also affected business.

“I was late on the taxes and had to deal with the penalty (enforced by state Board of Equalization),” said Lee.

With the exception of some loyal customers, Lee indicated that the three months without beer and wine at the restaurant had slowed down business. “It seems as if beer and barbecue go together,” he said.

The suspension was lifted last Friday, with Papa Joe’s customers finding out the bar was open once again just by word of mouth.

“They found out real quick,” Lee said.
He continues to cater food, but mostly for benefit events and fundraisers.

With all the pieces back in place, Papa Joe’s is gearing up for the upcoming graduation groups in the outdoor patio area with the capacity to accommodate 100 patrons.

Inside the restaurant decorated with antiques and farm implements from the 1800s – some of the items were picked up from Pollardville, the one-time Wild West ghost town located north of Stockton on Highway 99 – Lee said there’s room for 50 dine-in customers.

As for the bar, Papa Joe’s is looking to expand by adding margaritas along with other specialty drinks in another month.

The restaurant opened its doors in December 2007, with Lee naming the establishment in honor of his father, Joe.

The New York steaks, filet mignon, ribs, chicken, tri-tip beef and prime rib are cooked up fresh, not frozen, using flames powered by charcoal and wood.

Papa Joe’s is open, for the most part, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays, and from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends.

More information can be obtained by calling the restaurant at (209) 221-1919.