About Us


On October 14, 2015, the acclaimed San Francisco BBQ pop-up Sneaky’s found it’s permanent kitchen home at local Mission-favorite Southpaw BBQ. After years of individual operation and mutual respect, owners and long-time friends Elizabeth Wells, Zack Smith, and Ben Thorne have banded together to offer Sneaky’s high-quality Carolina-style BBQ alongside Southpaw’s well-curated spirits, house-brewed craft beer, and warm service.

With the culinary program driven by Sneaky’s, Southpaw is able to further develop their extensive bar program that includes house-brewed craft beers, an extensive and innovative cocktail program and an admirable and aggressive whiskey book. Co-owner Zack Smith continues to grow the impressive 100+ whiskey collection, while brewer Ross cultivates the beer program with barrel-aging and souring.


An Alabama native, Elizabeth was always drawn to the service industry and has been a part of it for much of her life. From waiting tables in college to organizing large scale events for Fortune 500 companies in Vail, entertaining has always come naturally to her. She chose to follow other pursuits and passions throughout her career; however, she realized that restaurants were her true calling and was determined to have her own. Two year later Elizabeth opened Southpaw BBQ as the Mission’s first barbecue brewpub in November of 2011. She designed Southpaw to reflect the warm, rustic and welcoming nature of her favorite spots in the South and always strives to ensure customers feels at home and appreciated for their patronage. Southpaw was named one of the “Best New BBQ” restaurants by Food & Wine and crowned one of the top 30 BBQ restaurants in America by OpenTable.


Zack began his career as a high school English teacher in New York City before moving to San Francisco in 2011. While his professional background was in education, he wanted to learn the restaurant/bar industry. As part of the opening Southpaw BBQ team, Zack quickly rose through the ranks and is now general manager and co-owner of the brewpub. His easy character and infectious humor make him a favorite among regulars and staff alike. And, his jack russel terrier, Dirt Bike, is quite possibly the craziest dog in San Francisco.


Benjamin Thorne moved to San Francisco, CA in 2005 to pursue music. He found himself working in a variety of fields that supported his touring and recording lifestyle, eventually settling into the service industry. He and a friend created Sneaky's BBQ, turning a hobby into a business. That business grew and spread on a foundation of quality, integrity, and DIY work ethic. These values are at the core of everything he does, from music to art to food, and he is proud to say that he sees them exemplified in his friends and family. He will be seen (basically living) behind the counter in Southpaw's open kitchen, so if you're ever in need of some (mostly loud/heavy/bleak/noisy) music recommendations, buy him a bourbon and ask.