“We were looking for another avenue of making a living and bought this barbecue stand in Fairhope. We are changing the name to Pirate Pit Barbecue. The two cousins running it are Harvey Mitchell and Daniel Miller, my son. Another cousin helps them and other family members have jumped in. Harvey owns Mitchell Unique Lawn Service. Harvey and Daniel have both worked for popular restaurants and I encouraged them to work for themselves and find a way to give back to our community. I grew up in this community on Twin Beech Road in Fairhope. I went to school across the street and watched this corner since I was a little girl. This is the fourth Saturday it has been open. We open for real starting Friday. This is a big deal for these boys.
I am now the director of the Rotary Youth Club. My children went to that club and it had a big impact on them. Mr. Durgin was the director when Daniel was there and he helped teach them how to be men and productive citizens. At Pirate Pit, we are already training the next generation and teaching them how to make an honest living. The community is excited and ready for us to be open full time, but we had to be completely prepared before it opens.
We want to the young children in this community excited about life and opportunities. There are business owners they can look up to. Right now, two men are waiting in line who have their own businesses. It is good to see men like this supporting each other. Kids can see they don’t have to go away to be successful. They can own businesses in their own community.
This corner can be so much more for everyone in Fairhope. The city owns the school across the street and they need to do something positive with that property that benefits all of us. We also need sidewalks here. You don’t see many black people going downtown Fairhope to eat at the restaurants because for so many years we weren’t welcome. We can change that. Everyone is welcome here. Working together works. It is going to take all of us coming together.”
“We left at 1 a.m. this morning and got back here at 5 a.m. We are hot and tired, but I am so proud. I have been cooking for other people for 14 years. Having my own restaurant is all I ever wanted. We are lucky to have the support of our families. Our mothers are twin sisters and behind us 100 percent. We are also going to keep running the lawncare service. We will do our best with both businesses and sleep when we can.”
(Pirate Pit Barbecue is at the corner of Twin Beech and Section Streets in Fairhope)