New business, retro look, and good food - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Restaurant Scorecard

New business, retro look, and good food

By Kim Essex - bio | email

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF)- Who doesn't love BBQ?

A BBQ restaurant in Athens has only been open for 6 months and has already garnered an impressive health score of 97.

Great health score aside, Hickory Barn BBQ is like a step back in time.

On Highway 72 West in Athens sits the realization of a dream for Bill Davis.

"We just want it to be an old BBQ place, just a comfortable place to come and eat."

Hickory Barn BBQ is that, with its retro decor, tin walls, red and white tablecloths, vintage soft drink machines, and grinning pigs in every corner.

Davis started competing in BBQ cook-offs about 8 years ago. He won some and placed high in others, then graduated to catering.

"We finally found the right location, and took advantage of it," Davis said.

It might have been the right location, but it definitely wasn't the right look.

"It was an old consignment shop, and it had a lot of paneling in it, and it was packed full of stuff," said Davis.

It took Davis and his wife, Stacey, a few months to transform the old building, but Davis said it was worth it.

"It's pretty neat that someone can make a living cooking BBQ, and enjoy what they are doing," he said.

Out back his pits are smoking hot, ready for the ribs, chicken and barbeque possum, which is really BBQ bologna.

Davis said everything he sells is made from scratch including his signature barbeque sundae.

"It's pretty much a small pork plate in a cup. We take a clear plastic cup; we put baked beans, slaw, a pickle spear, and BBQ, and you can eat it going down the road," said Davis.

Even though he's restaurant has only been open a few months, Davis already has big plans for it.

In the coming months, he wants to open a drive-through window and hire more help.

For now, though, he wants to take his time and get it right-- just like his approach to cooking his food.

Let's see which Valley restaurants got it right with inspectors this week.

Madison County

  • China Star on Highway 72 in Madison...75
  • Papa Jack's on Old Madison Pike Northwest in Madison...83
  • Casa Blanca on Highway 72 West in Madison...87
  • Half Time Bar and Grill on Highway 72 in Madison...87
  • Waffle King on Madison Boulevard in Madison...87
  • Waffle House on Shields Road in Huntsville...80
  • Mullins Drive-In on Andrew Jackson Way...87
  • Wild Rose Café on North Side Square in Huntsville...89
  • Cotton Row Restaurant on South Side Square in Huntsville...96
  • The Chophouse on Washington Street in Huntsville...91
  • Poker De Ases on University Drive in Huntsville...91
  • Catering by Narvell on Jordan Lane in Huntsville...96
  • Phil Sandoval's Mexican Restaurante on University Drive in Huntsville...95

Franklin County

  • Jonathan's Steakhouse on Highway 43 in Russellville...87
  • Burgers and Creme on Highway 43 in Spruce Pine...89
  • Mr. D's on Highway 237 in Phil Campbell...91
  • Subway on 4th Street Southwest in Red Bay...92
  • Five Star Pizza on North Jackson Avenue in Russellville...92
  • Parade Food Mart on Highway 24 East in Red Bay...93
  • Cardinal Drive In on 4th Street Northwest in Red Bay...93
  • Jack's Family Restaurant on Highway 43 Bypass in Russellville...94
  • Pizza Hut on Highway 43 in Russellville...94
  • Guthrie's on Highway 43 in Russellville...99
  • The Phil Campbell Senior Center on Sherry Brice Drive in Phil Campbell...100

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