BLACKFOOT, Idaho (KIFI) - It was the start of a new chapter for local veteran Nic Transtrum he hosted the grand opening for his new restaurant Blackhawk BBQ Pit Smokehouse.
“We didn’t know it would get this big to where we are now,” Transtrum said.
The business started out as a barbecue trailer back in 2019. You may remember Local News 8’s Emma Iannacone coverage after the food truck was involved in a crash on interstate 15. Transtrum was traveling southbound towing the food truck trailer when he left the right side of the roadway and struck the guard rail. The trailer flipped and caught fire just six months after opening.
“When you can get through the challenges of the battlefield, it’s like these other challenges… yeah, they may stink… sometimes they’re not that fun… but you can get through it.”
Transtrum served in Iraq as a Black Hawk helicopter pilot and is no stranger to difficult times. He flew 79 combat missions. He said his motto is living the very freedoms he fought for.
“When I got out of the military… I don’t like to admit it… but I struggled as many veterans do,” he said. “I struggled to find my place and transition into life after the military and for quite a while I wasn’t living those freedoms. One day I had this wake-up moment that I realized ‘hey, that was for me too.’”
Nothing says freedom like good barbecue. In fact, when I asked Transtrum about his style of barbecue, he replied with “We call it ‘Freedom’ barbecue”.
“Anybody that knows the military knows you move a lot,” he said. “I’ve been privileged to try all the different styles. The tangy Carolina… spicy Texas… the smoky Memphis. I think when you try us and you keep coming back, you’ll notice your favorite.”
Transtrum said the smokehouse in Blackfoot will feature some new specials in addition to the features food truck menu to show his gratitude to the community. Businesses throughout the community held a fundraiser to help Transtrum get back on his feet. He said this new business wouldn’t have been possible without that help.
“The community is so patriotic, so supportive, just good wholesome true Americans. I call them patriots. They’re just great people,” he said.
To find out more about Blackhawk BBQ Pit, click here.