Mechanic Turned Pitmaster: Phil Gessner revving up flavors in The Woodlands

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Tuesday, November 14, 2023
Mechanic Turned Pitmaster
Gessner's Grub stands out not just for its mouth-watering menu but also for its unique origin story. It serves as an inspiration, proving that it's never too late to follow one's passion.

THE WOODLANDS, Texas -- A seasoned mechanic has traded in his wrenches for wood chips, emerging as the pitmaster of Gessner's Grub. The owner, 65-year-old Phil Gessner, had been fixing cars since he was a teenager.

"My dad was a mechanic, and after school, I used to go work for him just to stay out of trouble," Gessner recalled. "I've done it for a long time. I started out of my garage, I opened Phils Auto Service in 2008."

Recently, Gessner found a new calling - barbecue. His journey from auto repairs to barbecue began as a simple gesture of gratitude, serving brisket tacos to his customers.

"They all told me, if you did this regularly, we'd buy this... I'm like, are you serious?" Gessner said.

In 2019, a food trailer was attached to the auto shop and Gessner's Grub was born. His son took over the car repair business as Gessner focused on his new passion.

The retired mechanic's shift from gears to grills is not just a story of career change but a testament to pursuing dreams later in life.

"I've said a bad day out here is way better than a good day in the auto shop,"

Gessner's Grub is located at 25131 Melda Rd.