Memphis BBQ restaurant celebrates 40 years of business
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - No one does BBQ better than Memphis.
On Thursday, A&R Bar-B-Q celebrated its 40th anniversary.
It all started in 1983.
The small, take-out-only establishment evolved into the current dine-in location at 1802 Elvis Presley Boulevard, one of two locations.
“I knew a little bit about BBQ because of my dad,” said Andrew Pollard, co-founder of A&R BBQ along with his wife, Rose. “We opened up a little bitty building next door, one room about the size of a small kitchen, and that’s where we got started. I was just trying to feed my family.”
Since its founding, A&R has engrained itself into the world-renowned BBQ scene of Memphis, landing the number 11 spot on Southern Living Magazine’s The South’s Top 50 Barbecue Joints in 2022.
But it was the Commercial Appeal that gave A&R its claim to fame.
“The Commercial Appeal put out a write-up about us, about our BBQ spaghetti, and people started coming in from everywhere. It took off, it grew so fast that on the weekends, we had to have a security guard to direct traffic. I mean it was just overwhelming.”
40 years later, business is still booming.
Today, Andrew and Rose’s children, Brian Pollard and Lashun Pollard-Turner, both own and operate their own locations.
But the recipes passed down by their parents remain the same.
“When we first opened, I remember it,” said Brian. “It was like a customer every hour. To see it evolve, it got to a point where lunchtime, it was standing room only.”
Lashun told Action News 5 she’s proud to see how her family’s business has grown.
“Just that growth and just being able to, as my dad would say, leave a legacy for the rest of the kids in the family.”
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