Neely’s Interstate BBQ
Uncle Jim and I started planning for this new location in July 2015. We came together and created Neely’s Interstate BBQ, the combination of the two companies- Neely’s and Interstate.
In 1988, I opened a small BBQ restaurant with two of my brothers. The businesses grew so I decided to relocate to Nashville to show the folks up there a thing or two about true’ cue. The Memphis restaurants were successful.
After several years in Nashville, I decided not to renew my restaurant lease and to come back home to Memphis. Home was calling me and tragedy was looming. About a year ago, my 21 year old daughter Madison, died from sickle cell anemia; the same disease that claimed our father’s life and the brother of uncle Jim Neely. After the death of my daughter, uncle Jim convinced me to return to Memphis, but there were no clear plans of opening a new Neely’s Restaurant.
Last fall 2014, uncle Jim and I worked together on an event at the Stax Museum for a Food Writers Convention. Uncle Jim said he did not have time to participate without help, so I stepped up to help. Working together on that got us to thinking about doing something. We started talking about a new restaurant location, what exactly to do, but tragedy struck again. In March 2015, Kelvin Neely, uncle Jim’s oldest son died of sickle cell.
“I guess you know what we’re going to have as our cause.” I said, we’re going to do everything we can to promote Sickle Cell Awareness, but we are also going to smoke some barbecue.
In April 2015 I found a person who wanted to sell a business on Craigslist, but we did not want his business, but we liked the location. Uncle Jim and I have now opened our new location at 7209 Winchester RD, Memphis, TN 38125.
Our new restaurant has the same menu items as Interstate Bar-B-Que located on South Third Street in Memphis, TN; our uncle Jim’s original restaurant, and his other locations; Stateline RD in Southaven, MS and Jim Neely’s Interstate Bar-B-Que located in the Memphis International Airport.
All those years running Neely’s, I thought I knew everything well, it turns out I didn’t know anything. I’m following uncle Jim around like a puppy. I feel like I’m getting my PhD in barbecue.