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June 1, get in my belly! Photo courtesy of The Bistro BBQ

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You sometimes discover good eatin' in the unlikeliest of places. I was cocktailing at the Old Cheers West, circa 2003 or so. The place was cave-like dark and smoke-filled (remember when you could smoke in restaurants still?) with music thumping and average joes and scantily clad 20-somethings bumping and writhing to the rhythm. I delivered trays full of Mac and Jack, Bud Light and sticky sweet shots. Our shoes stuck to the floor by the end of the evening. But there was one surprising treat in all of this: weekly visits from Pit Master Mr. Terry who would sling his mouth-watering BBQ from the small window that led to Cheers' kitchen. Hot damn, if you were there you remember it, too, and you know your eyes watered when you braved the challenge and tried the spicy BBQ sauce. Admit it.

It was by chance I bumped into Mr. Terry recently, the best sort of chance because he informed me his new restaurant, The Bistro BBQ, located on Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), is celebrating its grand opening this week June 1!

If you didn't discover Mr. Terry's BBQ via Cheers West, BBQ fans might remember Porters Place which was founded in 1996. They also served as the official caterer for Dixie's BBQ in Bellevue. Mr. Terry also ran concessions stands within Key Arena for Sonics games (queue mourning playlist), Husky stadium, three concessions stands in Safeco Field, and fed visiting players for Seahawks games. "We were there when they went to the championship game against the Panthers," Mr. Terry boasts.

With decades steeped in rich, delectable BBQ sauce, you can anticipate a divine dining experience now available on JBLM. Dive into signature dishes including Fish Fry Friday's with crisp fish and shrimp served up with coleslaw and potato salad. The Boss Sandwich will satisfy with pulled pork, bell peppers and onions finished with a hotlink on top. The Dallas aka JR Ewing features Texas beef brisket saddled with provolone cheese riding off on horseradish. And the Chicken Lickin -- that's licken chicken with Buffalo seasoning, bleu cheese and provolone. Drooooool. I'm looking to get on base for all the right reasons, departing grinning ear to ear with a face slathered in BBQ sauce and a full belly.

The Bistro BBQ includes a view of American Lake with patio seating available making it perfect for a quick bite or a more leisurely dining experience. Bonus: They are adding a bit of fun on Friday and Saturday evenings with karaoke and cocktails from 5-11 p.m.

THE BISTRO BBQ, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday-Saturday; 8981 American Lake Ave., JBLM

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