Sunday, August 10, 2008

Old Hickory House **HALL OF FAME EATERY**

The entry-way into the dining room

The pit

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

Current menu

1972 menu

1978 menu for Old Hickory House #2

1959 ad

1968 ad

1969 ad

1978 ad

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.


  1. The best BBQ anywhere. The sauce and Brunswick stew are unrivaled. No other BBQ restaurant in North Carolina comes close (and I've tried many!)

  2. I've been eating there since early 70's when the aroma drew me in from North Tryon St. driving by. I've tried a lot of BBQ but nothing beats The Old Hickory House. Ribs, BBQ, Brunswick stew. See it cooking, try it all. You'll be pleased!

  3. I wish I could find a recipe for Brunswick Stew that would come close to their stew. Perfect in every way!

    1. Me too! Have you found one that comes close since you posted this in 2014?

  4. Because when i was growing up,. it was one of my favorite places to go on our family's Friday night 'eating out' circuit, Old Hickory House was the first place i took my new wife upon going home to Charlotte to visit my relatives... she still raves about how delicious everything was!

  5. Best bbq sauce in the world. Wish they would release the recipe.

  6. I wish they were still open. I spent close to 40 years eating their wonderful food and would love to at least have recipes for the sauce and baked beans. At least once a month, even after all these years, I wish I could go there to eat!

  7. there is 1 old hickory house left in Tucker
    Ga. the sauce and stew is still as good as ever !

    1. did you ever eat at the one in charlotte