Local food and wine writer Wendy Thies Sell of the Santa Maria Sun is on a roll lately with some sizzling barbecue stories. First, she produced a magnificent feature story on local barbecue legend Ike Simas, and now she has penned a new story on the Hitching Post, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year as a Santa Maria Valley barbecue landmark.

In the new Hitching Post piece, there are some fantastic memories: In 1952, brothers Frank and Victor Ostini bought it for $16,000. The Hitching Post has been in the Ostini family ever since. Bill Ostini has owned it for 40 years, taking over for his father, Frank. By age 7, young Bill got hands-on training from an expert steak cutter—his dad. “You know, my dad put a shotgun in my hands when I was 6,” Ostini said. “So, putting a knife in my hand was not that big of a deal for him. He taught me how to do it. We’d cut meat for five hours [on] a Saturday night.”

The piece also delves into five “secrets” to the restaurant’s enduring success. Check it out here, it’s a great read!