Memphis-style smoked meats with a cult following

The internet in Tennessee nearly broke last week with the news that Memphis’ Central BBQ would soon be slinging their famous slow-smoked barbecue right here in Music City. Central BBQ started smoking meats in Memphis in 2002 on Central Avenue and has since opened three other locations; Nashville will be the fifth restaurant for the brand. They are known for their use of hickory and pecan woods plus the classic Memphis dry rub when prepping their meats. The meat is marinated for 24 hours, and Central likes to brag that there’s “no sauce in the pit”.

Five fast facts to know about the new Music City location:

  • The Nashville location will be located at Capitol View, the mixed-use project from Northwestern Mutual and Boyle Investment Company, at 408 11th Avenue N. Austin Ray’s third location of M.L.Rose was the first announced retail at Capitol View, and opened at the end of 2017. Since then, Your Pie and Starbucks have opened inside the massive development.
  • They’re hoping to open by January of 2019.
  • It’ll be the same menu as found in the Memphis stores: the classic meats, of course, which can be added to nachos or salads. There’s a grilled portobello mushroom and gouda cheese sandwich (or salad) for vegetarians.
  • The founders, Craig Blondiss and Roger Sapp, plan to be very involved with the Nashville store, in the spirit of Southern hospitality.
  • There’s a brand refresh for Central BBQ — the new logo loses the pig and emphasizes the word “central”, adding a nod to their hometown school, the University of Memphis Tigers, with the particular shade of blue they’ve chosen. There’s also a new tagline: “Our smoke is the sauce”.

Originally Published in Eater Nashville

By Delia Jo Ramsey