Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

BBQ Brings Beale Street to Boonville

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

BBQ Brings Beale Street to Boonville

Article excerpt

I already knew I liked the barbecue. Memphis & Main BBQ has been a popular destination for me and others since it set up a drive- thru in a parking lot along Indiana 261 between the Indiana 66 and downtown Newburgh.

But now Memphis & Main has a sit-down restaurant on the square in Boonville, Ind.

Open the door to the narrow storefront on the Warrick County courthouse square and you will be greeted by blues songs coming from speakers at the four corners. Each table is set with at least four barbecue sauces in a six-pack carton.

The name comes from owner Brian Shonk's idea to bring Memphisstyle, dry-rubbed and slow-smoked, barbecue to Main Street USA.

Shonk, who has competed in barbecue competitions before, has dreamed of owning a barbecue restaurant for years. As a civil engineer, he has been in federal construction work that has taken him from the Newport chemical depot near Terre Haute, Indiana, to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, and back to Crane in Indiana.

But he got his taste for restaurants while growing up in Paris, Illinois, where his mother owned an Italian restaurant. He tried an Italian restaurant in Clinton, Indiana, but had to close when he was sent to Dubai. It was there he began planning the barbecue.

First Shonk bottled barbecue sauce. His line included six sauces and three spice rubs and was successfully sold at various local groceries.

But Shonk still wanted more. He opened the small drive-thru in Newburgh in 2013 and was instantly popular. That encouraged him to open the sit-down restaurant in Boonville, because no other barbecue was offered there.

Shonk said he buys the best meats he can find and slowly smokes them over white oak the way it is done in Tennessee.

While it's nice to carry out the barbecue and have it in the comfort of your home or sitting and watching the river roll by, I liked the sit-down restaurant better. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.