Carroll University alumna Alisha Hayes ’04 and her husband, Ty, owners of Pat’s Rib Place, discuss the hard work and dedication that went into opening their restaurant in the March 2021 issue of MKELifestyle magazine. Named after Alicia’s mother, the eatery at 151 E. Sunset Drive in Waukesha offers comfort food and a cozy atmosphere that has become a sanctuary for many locals. But it also counts a celebrity among its customers: Oprah Winfrey, Alisha’s aunt.
Since the restaurant opened in 2009, Alisha, Ty and the restaurant have been local media favorites. But in November, Pat’s Rib Place leaped into the national spotlight when Oprah included the barbecue sauce on her 2020 Favorite Things holiday list. Pat’s was in good company—each of the 72 items came from Black-owned businesses, including singer Rihanna’s luxury fashion brand, Savage X Fenty. The publicity created such a buzz around the special sauce, the couple had to boost production from 100 jars a month to 200 jars a week.