Dominick Aritz Jr. is seen in the dining room of B3Q Smokehouse in West Pittston. - Roger DuPuis | Times Leader
Dominick Aritz Jr. stands by the smoker at his restaurant, B3Q Smokehouse in West Pittston. - Roger DuPuis | Times Leader
Dominick Aritz Jr. holds a collage dedicated to his time in the military. - Roger DuPuis | Times Leader
Dominick Aritz Jr. is seen in Afghanistan during his military service. - - Courtesy Dominick Aritz
Dominick Aritz Jr. holds a photo of himself from 20 years ago. - - Roger DuPuis | Times Leader
WEST PITTSTON — The transition from military life to entrepreneur has been a fulfulling one for Dominick Aritz Jr., and he is finding the skills developed in two decades of Air Force service still come in handy running a restaurant.
“That ability to manage time, people, resources, they all help,” said Aritz, who is the new owner of B3Q Barbecue on Wyoming Avenue. “You have to have a schedule, you have to have a plan.”
What is different from working in military life? Now Aritz also has to manage a big thing that was primarily Uncle Sam’s concern in the Air Force.
“Yes, there’s also the financial piece,” he said of being a civilian business operator.
Otherwise, the discipline and work ethic remain hallmarks of daily life, which starts around 6:30 for the newly minted restaurateur.
Aritz grew up in West Pittston, the son of a Navy veteran. After attending Syracuse University, he was thinking about career options with job security, given the ups-and-downs of the local economy.
So Aritz joined the Air Force, which became a 20-year odyssey that took him to more than 30 countries.
Among his greatest memories: serving on presidential support duties, including one trip to Ghana in Africa, where Aritz recalled being humbled to see the lifestyles of the residents and how their lives had changed under different regimes and forms of government.
Aritz retired in July of this year at the rank of technical sergeant. He had worked on the flight line in a number of roles, including as an instructor, but finished out his service as a recruiter.
And then it was time to return to civilian life, fulfilling Aritz’s dream.
“That was always my goal,” he said. “Do 20, retire, and in some capacity work for myself.
High school classmate and family friend Barry Hosier, proprietor of B3Q, was looking toward the next stage of his career as well after operating the business since 2012.
There was a bit of overlap, with Aritz coming in as manager to learn the ropes before taking over the business in April.
“It was the right time for me and for him,” Aritz said.