Every year as the serene spring turns to sizzling summer, Barney’s Bar-B-Q in Ellisville fires up its grills. This St. Louis barbecue staple is still located in the same shack it has called home since its inception in 1963.
That year, Barney Carver decided to retire early from the auto industry and open a barbecue joint where he could indulge in his passion for grilling in his new-found free time.
Barney’s serves its specialty ribs and chicken after smoking it in their own handmade charcoal that is carried carefully, shovel by shovel, into the open pit. They use a secret vinegar-based sauce to baste their meat while it’s cooking to give the meat that distinctive fiery crust: the signature Barney’s taste.
They also grill up traditional St. Louis pork steaks as well as beef sandwiches, hot dogs, and hamburgers.
Open weekends only from Memorial Day to Labor Day, this family-run, outdoor dining retreat in the middle of commercialized West County gives St. Louisans something to look forward to in the summer months.
It’s obvious from the long lines, which begin to form around dinnertime, that this unassuming barbecue shack has some serious staying power.