Saucehouse BBQ was founded in 2013 by two friends, Charlie Nix and Chris Belk. Being from two different states Charlie and Chris wanted to open their own concept together and they thought Athens, Ga would be the perfect fit. Growing up both had dreamed of opening their own restaurant, and shared a passion for southern barbecue, but being from different regions of the south they pondered what kind of approach they should take towards their restaurant.
Finally, they concluded that they wanted to celebrate all the different kind of sauces under one roof, and thus Saucehouse was born. In 2015, the two owners broke ground on the restaurant on West Broad St. in Athens.
Saucehouse offers the college-town vibe that Athens brings, but has a family-friendly atmosphere as well. When you walk in the entrance off Broad St. the charm and feeling of the south are immediately felt. The restaurant has a wrap around huge front porch with porch swings and rocking chairs. As you walk into the restaurant you instantly feel like your back at grandma's for a nice Sunday night dinner.
The menu offers a number of ways for the customer to personalize their meal.
Assistant GM Max Schriefer says, "Upon each visit you can choose between a variety of sauces, smoked meats, and an assort of sides that are made in-house."
In fact, Saucehouse is the first barbecue restaurant that uses a fast-casual concept that is set up like a Subway. The line moves smooth and it provides a very fast and casual experience. Customers can pick and choose what they want and how much they want while going down the line. In many customers opinions, that's what makes Saucehouse unique and separates them from the other barbeque places in Athens, well besides the food as well and variety of sauces.
The property also features a bar as well stocked with beer, liquor, and wine. "The Bar" as it is called draws a huge crowd during football season on the weekends, and pretty much every night of the week as well. In locals opinions, it's most popular for its Jameson shots. If you take 100 shots over time, you receive a red sports coat that looks a lot better than the Master's green.
Schriefer also adds, "Every night we try to keep the restaurant and bar packed as much as possible by doing some sort of event or promotion."
On Tuesdays, it's 'Taco Tuesday' with a deal on margarita pitchers. Every Wednesday there is a corn hole tournament with half off wine. Trivia nights are on Thursday with $5 craft beers. On Sundays, the bar food is half off.
With all that being said, OnlineAthens awarded Saucehouse best barbecue in Athens for 2018. From the start, the owners set the bar high for their establishment, and have exceeded far beyond that point.
Out of the many places I have tried BBQ throughout my 4 years of college here in Athens, I think that Saucehouse is a definite winner.
P.S. if you don't try the fried mac & cheese balls you're missing out.