Beach Dining at Hangar BBQ in Merced, CA [The Flying Gourmet]

Jim Jellison - The Flying Gourmet

Hangar BBQ - Merced, CA

Hangar BBQ – Merced, CA

Hangar BBQ
26 Macready Drive
Merced, CA 95341
(209) 349-0174
Hangar BBQ on Urbanspoon

Over the last eight years the economy has dipped dramatically and then slowly rebounded. This roller-coaster ride was especially hard on small businesses – specifically mom-and-pop airport restaurants. Over the years I have watched them come and go. One in particular is located at the airport in Merced. The two preceding restaurants to occupy the corrugated, hangar looking building were breakfast and lunch only places. Several years ago I stopped for breakfast only to find it boarded up, but met a guy who was taking it over and had an idea for a BBQ-Rib restaurant. He showed me around and explained his vision for the place. I thought sure, but the last two didn’t make it so I really didn’t give him much of a chance.

Fast forward a couple of years and I found not only is he still in business but thriving! On a beautiful Thursday evening last week, a friend of mine and I flew to Merced to check out Hangar BBQ. We found it hopping with about thirty patrons which seemed great even on a Thursday!

Hangar BBQ - Merced, CAI was tempted to order the pulled pork sandwich, but since ribs are the specialty of the house, I just had to try them. My friend ordered the ribs and steak sandwich combination, he is a big guy! They both came with fries; I ordered the garlic ones, but they mixed up the order and gave me the regular ones. No matter, we shared and with coleslaw it was more than enough food for two hungry guys. The food was great; ribs were large with a lot of meat on them and the sauce was tangy but not too tangy. They also serve a variety of beer battered fried vegetables which I’ll be sure to try on the next visit.

The thing that makes this restaurant unique is that their patio area has been converted into a beach with lots of imported sand. The patio includes a covered bar, a number of cabañas and beach chairs which face the stage (live music Wednesday thru Saturday). With these features, I can see why this place would be a hit with the local college crowd. However this looked more like the over forty crowd.

Merced Regional Airport/Macready Field is located about 70 nautical miles southeast of Livermore and features a 6,000 foot paved and lighted runway. For pilots KMCE is easy to fly into without much traffic, although the airport is serviced by a commuter airline with several flights a day. If you’re passing that way on Highway 99 by automobile be sure to stop.

2 thoughts on “Beach Dining at Hangar BBQ in Merced, CA [The Flying Gourmet]

  1. Worst customer service ever. I never write any type of review for any restaurant, but I had to for this one. Some one in front of me was asking for a refund because it was taking 2 hours to get their food. The cashier was being super rude and talking non sense, Instead of apologizing to them for their bad costumer service. Then I find out the cashier was the owner, WOW! If the owner doesn’t have or know anything about customer service how is he in business? This was my first and last time I will ever go to this place. I went there for comedy night, I guess the joke was on me.

  2. I agree. My husband and I went for lunch, we should of just went to jack in the box. There is nothing gourmet here. The burger was raw, had to be sent back to be “recooked” when it came back it still was raw. The cook said ” well we try not to over cook them”; if a customer wants something well done, you do it bozo! He didn’t know how to cook. The chicken sandwich I had was old chicken ’cause you could taste it, kind of red and had a bug in it!!! There is nothing gourmet of this place. I asked who the owner was and the waitress acted dumb not knowing if his name was Steve and when he was coming in because of course she was “new”. Both these girls pay more attention to the guys at the bar than the lunch customers…oh maybe ’cause she was going to get a “horse ride”. You guys are incompetent as cooks and bartenders.

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