Sad news: today is the last day for Maverick’s Real Roast Beef.

Twin brothers Bret and Bart Hazlett opened their counter service spot in a Roseville strip mall in 1999, focusing on the thin-sliced roast beef sandwiches (provided photo, above) that they grew up eating— and loving — at Arby’s.

But they parted company with that chain by emphasizing quality, while simultaneously maintaining affordable prices, a fast-food rarity. No wonder the place developed a following, one that has lasted for 19 years. 

The undisputed star of the show was the mouth-meltingly tender roast beef, a ruby-rare thing of beauty that was sliced thin and stacked high on a buttered, toasted bun (I'm writing in the past tense because the restaurant announced via social media that it has already depleted its roast beef supply). The brisket sandwich is another marvel, a marvelous pumpernickel bun weighed down with slabs of slow-cooked, fall-apart tender marinated beef. Another specialty is the barbecue brisket, a mountain of brisket slathered with a zippy hickory sauce and laid out on an onion Kaiser. Yes, a peak fast-food experience.

Can you blame me for once writing that “Maverick’s is to Arby’s as Neiman Marcus is to Kohl’s”? I have a very happy memory of taking Jane and Michael Stern — the duo behind the influential “Roadfood” — to Maverick’s, and they loved it, of course. Who wouldn’t?

“This is a super roast beef sandwich,” they wrote. “Simple, pure and satisfying.”

Exactly. 

Nostalgic from the start, the brothers christened the family-friendly restaurant after their dad’s favorite TV western series (it followed the exploits of Bret and Bart Maverick), which is also reflected in the dining room’s decor. Tragically, Bart and two of his young children were killed in a car accident in 2011.

“We are very grateful to our loyal customers who [have] supported us over the years and we hope to see you one last time,” is the message that’s posted on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

One note for those wishing to drop in today (doors open at 11 a.m.) for a final sandwich: the kitchen is running a limited menu.

Goodbye, Maverick's. You'll be missed.

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