The Birth of Old Carolina

A passion for great barbecue inspired two former high school buddies to start a competition barbecue team in 2003. Travels across the country led us to discover the rich traditions of Carolina-style barbecue. During many road trips across the region, second and third generation pitmasters shared their closely guarded secrets and decades-old recipes.

It wasn’t long before those recipes started earning Old Carolina trophies on the barbecue circuit. Best sauce. Best ribs. Best pulled pork. Fans of Old Carolina demanded a regular outpost they could visit every day of the week. And, in 2006, the first Old Carolina Barbecue Company restaurant opened in Massillon, Ohio.

Where are we going?

Over the years, a focused effort to serve extraordinary barbecue with genuine hospitality has helped Old Carolina grow into multiple restaurant locations. More importantly, the fan base for authentic slow-smoked barbecue continues to grow throughout Ohio and beyond, leading Old Carolina to be named one of the 10 Best Barbecue Chains in America.

Some of our passionate fans have even partnered with us to open their own Old Carolina locations. And, we pass on to them the very same lessons we learned at the roadside shacks that inspired us. Visit one of our many Old Carolina restaurants and taste the slow-smoked tenderness of our barbecue meats, all cooked with real hickory wood on-site every day. Enjoy the scratch-made goodness of our house-made sides prepared fresh throughout the day. And, if you are already a fan, maybe you’ll open your own Old Carolina soon.

Brian Bailey and Tim Hug