The entry-way into the dining room
All old-fashioned restaurants still sport the large candy selection at the register
Original cartoon of the founding brothers
Plaque in the entry-way dedicated to the founding Carter brothers
Phone switch board decorates the dining room
Smoke never smelled so wonderful!
Hickory logs in the woodshed
Old Hickory House #2
1978 menu for Old Hickory House #2
Thanks to Rick Fisher for his assistance with all of the photos
One of the best places to get Lexington-style barbecue in Charlotte is the legendary Old Hickory House. The Old Hickory House (originally just called "The Hickory House") has been run by the Carter family since its inception in 1957. It was originally located on Thrift Rd (near the intersection of Freedom Dr and Morehead St). In 1972, the restaurant was moved to its current location near UNCC. Very little has changed over the years--the dining room still sports the Consetoga wagon lamps over each booth, the wood saws and longhorn-bull horns still adorn the walls, and the famous wood fire pit (that's part of the dining room) still cooks the meats. Even the turquoise dining room chairs are original.
The main reason everyone crowds into the Old Hickory House is for the food. The tomato-based barbecue sauce is still made per a secret recipe obtained in Alabama in the 1940's. The remarkable Brunswick stew is an old Carter family recipe. The pork, beef, and chicken are still smoked over a wood fire using aged hickory and oak logs (the brick fireplace smoker is one of the more unusual things in any Charlotte restaurant).
For many years there was a second Old Hickory House location located on the I-85 service road near the airport. This location closed in the mid-90's. There is also two Old Hickory Houses in Atlanta. Though they are not connected to the Charlotte Old Hickory House, they were started by a relative of the Carter family (their Uncle Bill Black).
As things change with the growth and expansion of the University area, the Old Hickory House continues to thrive by keeping things exactly as they were when they opened this location 36 years ago.