For The Love of BBQ
Born and raised in Sepulveda (now known as North Hills), local boy Dimitru Ioakim was a fan of Rosie’s BBQ Grillery at an early age. Going out on family dinners was always a treat, with choices being El Torito (his mom’s favorite) or Rosie’s BBQ and Grillery (his dad’s). Little did he know that the 40 year old BBQ establishment, THE go to BBQ joint in the San Fernando Valley, was going to play a big role later in his life.
At 19 years old, Dimitri found himself working in the Food and Beverage Industry. His first job was with Levy Restaurants at the Staples Center, starting out as a supervisor then grew into a managerial position at the luxury suites in Staple Center. This experience exposed him to a variety of cuisine.
“In ’99, 2000, it was the entertainment capital of the world (Staples Center), there was just all kinds of amazing food —everything from lobster towers to some massive sandwiches, and some really great barbeque. Which would randomly come out too. That was really the first introduction to dealing with something fancier than going into a sandwich shop or mom’s cooking or getting tacos down the street,” shares Dimitri on the I Crush BBQ Show, a podcast hosted by Abe Delgado , featuring all things barbeque.
After a couple of years there, he moved back to into the valley and got a job with BJ’s restaurant where he learned the art of running and managing restaurants as well as learning operations and all the jobs within from top to bottom. This included learning cooking techniques. He was 24 at that time and this was his first true foray into the culinary arts. He stayed with the company for 13 years, where he learned to run big, busy restaurants and experience what it takes to really run the business. Close to the end of the 13 years with BJ’s, and gaining all this experience and insight of restaurant management, Dimitri started to want to run his own establishment.
“Towards the end of it, I really had that itch of I really want to do something on my own. This is not the end for me. I’m not going to stay here forever even though it was already over a decade in., ” reflects Dimitri on what inspired him to own his own restaurant.
As fate would have it, a close friend texted him, and told him about a barbeque joint that was up for sale in Northridge. That barbeque joint was Rosie’s BBQ and Grillery. In 2017, Dimitri and his wife purchased Rosie’s which had moved from it’s original location on Nordhoff and Tampa to Nordhoff and Corbin. The original owners stayed on until the end of December 2017 to help with the transition.
Since owning Rosie’s, Dimitri has been taking the restaurant to new heights. He started off with Smoked Meat Saturdays, bringing in some Texas flavor to the San Fernando Valley by serving tri tip, brisket, short ribs, sausage, pulled pork, turkey breasts, and pork belly. He even added Rosie’s Meat Market, a section in the restaurant where you can a variety of uncooked meats to bring home. Their selection includes Louisiana Hot Links, Jalapeno Bacon Cheddar Sausage, Pork Shoulder, Tomahawk Steak (USDA Prime), just to name a couple of items.
In the midst of the pandemic, while trying to just survive through it, Dimitri had bigger plans for the restaurant. He acquired a custom made smoker from Fat Stack Smokers, one of the nations leading makers of barbecue smokers, located right here in Sun Valley. Last Wednesday, he announced the rebranding of the restaurant to Rosie’s Bark and Char. During a preview of the menu, he explained that “bark is what you get when you smoke meats and the char comes from grilling the meats”.
Smoked meats are now available from Wednesday through Sundays, served with some new sides such as the Serrano Cheesey Grits and the Bacon Jalapeno Mac & Cheese. They also have a Thanksgiving Day Package available for pick-up, just in time for this Thursday!
Visit their website to check out their updated menu and order take out. Follow them on Instagram for the latest news @rosiesbbq.
Location: 8930 Corbin Ave., Northridge 91324