Michael Lawson | The Thumb
Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Robbie Ray was recently on a local news station talking about his favorite barbecue joint. He wasn’t talking about a generations-old smokehouse, nor a five-star restaurant. He praised the Brisket Stack at The Thumb.
“The Thumb is unlike any other location out there,” says Michael Lawson, general manager. There’s the 720-gallon fish tank with a replica of the store inside and 50 Arizona license plates plastered above it, created by the hosts of the Animal Planet show “Tanked.” A huge chandelier, the kind you would expect to see in a Victorian mansion, clings to the ceiling.
The gift shop has enough trinkets and knickknacks to fascinate any traveler. Customers can enjoy coffee
and fresh-baked pastries straight from the in-house bakery while they wait for their vehicle to go through the car wash, manned by a crew outfitted in white jumpsuits.
But The Thumb’s award-winning barbecue is the real draw. The Brisket Stack, smoked for 12 hours and topped with an egg, is the stuff of legend—sanctified by a spot on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”
Owner Kipp Lassetter bought the out-of-use c-store location with the intent of opening the barbecue joint and gift shop from the start. The chandelier, car wash, bakery and other additions grew organically over time.
For Lawson, it’s the people who keep him engaged and happy to come to work every day. “Great employees, great customers and a fun, friendly environment,” he says.