When it comes to Santa Maria Style Barbecue, the present and the past are seamlessly connected.

That truism is embodied by The Hitching Post, a landmark of Santa Maria Style Barbecue that has thrived under the same family ownership for more than 60 years in the Santa Maria Valley.

Owner Bill Ostini recently delved into the restaurant’s multigenerational story as part of The Valley Speaks program organized by the Santa Maria Valley Historical Society at the Santa Maria Public Library.

As reported in the Lompoc Record, Ostini’s speech lasted an hour. Along the way, “he recounted how word of Santa Maria-style barbecue spread across the country and, through Vandenberg Air Force Base, the world.” Ostini also noted that the Hitching Post “started with a little barbecue pit built in the ground actually outside of the restaurant itself.”

Evie Geiger, one of the event’s organizers, summed it up perfectly: “Anyone who’s been here for very long, not to mention all the natives  — and about half the people here are natives — like a good barbecue. And The Hitching Post has always had excellent barbecue, always.”