BBQ is a cuisine. BBQ is an event. BBQ is a flavor. BBQ is a sport. BBQ is an occupation. BBQ is a tradition. BBQ means so many things, different things, to so many people, but for a select few of us, BBQ is a way of life. There is no question that this is the case for Dave Anderson, one of the patriarch’s of BBQ.
On November 3, 2014, the very thing that fueled Dave’s way of life and allowed him to produce some of the best BBQ in America did it’s best to destroy the heart and soul of his professional life when fire destroyed the original Famous Dave’s restaurant in Hayward, WI. A lesser man may have succumb to the stress and pressure associated with such a devastating loss to his livelihood and legacy, but not Dave. Dave saw it as an opportunity.
We’ll never forget Dave’s Facebook post of November 7, 2014 where he said:
“You can’t stop a man who won’t quit! Hayward Wisconsin means a lot to me as it is home to my Mom’s family and also the birthplace of a national icon BBQ restaurant chain. Famous Dave Anderson said…The Original Famous Dave’s has meant to much to the development of my career as a passionate lover of barbecue but also the culmination of a lifelong dream come true. At first the shock of this fire was emotionally tough on Kathy and me as this dream was 25 years in the making. This wasn’t just a restaurant that burned down but it was my lifelong dream that kept me going through thick or thin. The Original Famous Dave’s has given so many young people their first start in their careers and helped many summer college kids pay their way through school. We have hosted countless weddings, anniversaries, birthday’s, family reunions, and millions of raving loyal fans that have traveled countless miles to visit The Original Famous Dave’s… that we are anxious to rebuild and get back to making our beloved barbecue fanatics delightfully happy! I have complete faith in the Bible verse Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.
So many lifelong customers and friends of Famous Dave’s have reached out to share their support and encouragement through their thoughts and prayers for which we are encouraged, humble, and grateful. In addition, we have heard from so many industry vendors and suppliers have offered their help and support for us to get back up and operating America’s Best Loved BBQ Joint! here in Hayward, Wisconsin.
It is our goal to be up and running by June 21, 2015 on Father’s Day which will give us the necessary time to get back into the swing of things by next year’s 4th of July. We are also looking into the feasibility of taking our Conference Center and turning into a makeshift BBQ Shack to help keep a core of our invaluable “Famous” team members employed and also to continue serving up great tasting barbecue to our loyal fans while we are rebuilding. However, we need to figure out what health and other “official” requirements are needed to make this happen and how fast we can get this done. But we are encouraged because we have gotten word that much of the usual “red tape” will be expedited so that we can get back up and running as this landmark restaurant has meant so much to the local Hayward community.”
Dave beat his own goal of opening a new BBQ joint by more than two months and like the phoenix rising from the ashes opened Old Southern BBQ Smokehouse in Hayward, WI on April 14, 2015.
As if opening a new restaurant concept in less than 6 months wasn’t enough, Dave has already opened a second Old Southern BBQ Smokehouse in Rice Lake, WI and we have no doubt more are on the way. Dave has always been an inspiration to BBQ entrepreneur’s like ourselves, turning his first concept, Famous Dave’s, into a nationally recognized restaurant powerhouse. His resilience in the face of adversity has done nothing but increase the inspiration he provides and makes us all want to challenge ourselves more when we face common obstacles, let alone life altering ones like losing a restaurant to fire.
Prominently inscribed on one of Old Southern BBQ Smokehouses walls is a quote from Dave’s dad, James Anderson, “Generous use of my BBQ sauce could bring world peace.” In a time when the world could use some peace we hope everyone gets a chance to taste Old Southern BBQ Smokehouse’s BBQ sauce!
On December 23rd we’ll unveil the 8th biggest BBQ Story of 2015. The biggest BBQ Story of 2015 will be announced on December 30th.
To date we’ve announced the 10th biggest BBQ Story of 2015.
Come back tomorrow and we’ll announce the #8 BBQ Story of 2015.