Barbecue Blues

AUBURN, Ala. – An iconic landmark located just across the street from Auburn University is closing its doors at the end of the month. News 3’s Phil Scoggins sat down with owner Jeff Price to talk about almost 40 years of memories.

Price’s barbecue house has been satisfying customers since 1978, when the Price Family called the over the hump sandwich shop and turned it into an Auburn tradition.

“I think we bought all the furnishings in this for $600 and rented the building. Then we opened up and we were busy the first day and the rest is history,” said owner Jeff Price.

Jeff Price was attending school at Auburn when he helped his parents open the restaurant. He says his dad, who passed away in 2003, had a masterful touch in the barbecue pit.

“Barbecue is really an art. When you’re in that pit and you’re putting it together and you have to know what you’re looking for,” said Price. “That pit is an art. You’ve really got to know what you do and how to finish.”

For almost four decades the Prices have sent the aroma of hickory-smoked barbecue wafting across the Auburn campus and it’s taunted the taste buds of students, faculty, and even famous coaches like Shug Jordan.

“When we first opened he had just retired. He came in two or three Saturday mornings in particular and ate, and the light came on and I realized that’s Coach Jordan,” said Price.

When Terry Bowden was coaching Auburn, his father was a regular customer when he came to help with coaching clinics.

“Bobby would come over on a Saturday morning and eat barbecue. We never talked football a bit. We just talked barbecue,” said Price. “Everybody talks about the pizza he eats, but Charles Barkley ate a lot of barbecue and a lot of Brunswick stew here, and he really loved my mom and dad.”

After 38 years of serving up barbecue on football Saturdays, Jeff says he’s ready to have his home game weekends free.

“I’ve never been to a home game Tiger Walk. I’ve never been to Toomer’s Corner after a home game win. And I’ve never tailgated in Auburn, ever,” said Price. “I’m looking forward to doing that this fall.”

One thing he’s not looking forward to it turning off the barbecue house light for the final time.

“It’s going to be tough.  It’s already been tough. There have been a lot of tears shed already and a lot of emotions,” said Price.

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