Memphis BBQ giant Rendezvous celebrates 70-year anniversary

Memphis BBQ giant Rendezvous celebrates 70-year anniversary

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A Memphis BBQ tradition is celebrating a major milestone.

Rendezvous opened 70 years ago and created the Memphis-style dry rubbed rib.

It all started in a building's basement in Downtown Memphis.

"It didn't really start out to be this. It started as an 80-seat tavern, and it just kind of grew much more than we ever thought," Rendezvous co-owner John Vergos said.

Seventy years and lots of BBQ later, the celebration kicked off with hundreds of Rendezvous' faithful customers, local leaders, and long-time employees like Percy Norris, who has worked at Rendezvous for 45 years.

She's done everything from waiting tables, to greeting, and even bussing tables.

"We just was a little small joint. We didn't have menus or anything," Norris said.

Jack Dyson, who's been with the BBQ restaurant for 55 years, said there's one thing that sets them apart.

"Dry barbecue. A lot of people like sauce, but we use the dry seasoning," he said.

Not much has changed. After 70 years, the restaurant serves its signature BBQ the same way.

"It's just one thing missing. That's the old man," Dyson said.

Though Charlie Vergos--the man who started it all in 1948--isn't here, his son said, he knows he's beyond proud.

"Overall, I think he'd be thrilled," John Vergos said.

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