Beth Burckley hails from the Cherry Hill/Collingswood, N.J., area. It was there that she met Brian Howell, an Alabama native. The couple moved to Phoenixville after Beth spent a year commuting to the area for work. Beth and Brian fell in love with Phoenixville when visiting Brian’s sister’s family, who moved the area when the couple had first starting dating.
Two years ago, their recuse pup named Benson joined the family. He is named after a character on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unity” — Olivia Benson.
During their early visits to Phoenixville, the “Bs” spent time with Brian’s southern family, watching college football and all that goes with it. It was from those early days that their business venture, Uncle B’s BBQ Shack, was born. While Brian is really the cook, Beth can often be found whipping up a sangria!
It all began with a roadside smoker in 2014. Soon, they sublet at Fenice Creolo (the old Epicurean Restaurant), sharing the kitchen and selling BBQ out of the takeout area until it closed. They have been settled on Schuylkill Road in East Pikeland for two years now.
Beth and Brian are real go-getters. Both loves Phoenixville and believes in giving back, especially considering the support they have received from the community in opening their business. They have been known to give back through their restaurant by sponsoring fundraisers for the community.
Beth works along with Brian as much as she can and continues a full-time career as a behavior analyst. Currently, she is at the Vanguard School. Beth serves on the board of the Phoenixville Jaycees. She is also involved with Ann’s Heart & Code Blue.
Beth was recently elected to a seat on Phoenixville Borough Council for the Middle Ward. Her mother, Angela Burckley, held the Bible as she was sworn into office. As a council member, she chairs the police, personnel and public safety committee. She is also a member of council’s infrastructure committee.
“We have a good team,” Beth states.
Through her work with the Jaycees, she has worked closely and is good friends with Peter Urscheler, the town’s newly elected mayor.
Beth recalled when she first voted in a local election of 2001. She took her vivacious grandmother, Marie Introcaso, with her to vote as Marie never missed any Election Day. Beth wishes she could share all her experiences on council with her late grandmother, who was very civically engaged.
Beth has many visions for the future. She hopes to encourage others to get engaged within our community and ensure transparency. More entrepreneurial visions include a late-night window with rotating vendors in the downtown.
Beth’s Own Champagne Sangria
1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 pomegranate arils
2 (750 ml) bottles champagne
2 blood oranges, juiced
2 blood oranges sliced into half moons
½ cup pomegranate juice (Beth likes POM)
¼ cup blood orange liqueur (Beth likes Solerno)
In a large pitcher or mason jar, add strawberries and pomegranate arils. Add in juice of blood oranges, pomegranate juice and blood orange liqueur. Transfer to the refrigerator and allow flavors to marry for at least four hours, up to 12. To serve, fill glass about 1/3 with sangria, add chilled champagne (optional: top with club soda, garnish with a strawberry and additional blood orange slices). Makes eight servings.
Beth loves to make this in a mason jar and take as a hostess gift with a bottle of bubbly. She also likes to keep the mix separate for parties, so those who prefer another varietal of wine can also indulge.
Let Bette hear from you: email@example.com. Search YouTube for “Look Who’s Cooking with Bette Banjack,” as well phoenixvillenews.com (search bar: Banjack) for this column. Find Bette on Facebook by searching “Bette Banjack’s Downtown Kitchen.” Her book, “2 Cups of Yesterday,” is available at Gateway Pharmacy or by contacting her.