Robin Weaver knows her barbecue, and for her, there’s nothing like Memphis barbecue.
And that’s the way the co-owner of Big Daddy’s Barbecue in Pace has been serving up her plates, with her husband for over 12 years now.
So far, Weaver has been at her location in the strip mall at the corner of West Spencer Field and Norris roads near Pace High School for almost three years. Recently, Weaver expanded the restaurant to seat more customers. The expansion was done to meet the needs of the influx of customers she’s been getting.
Even though she expanded her seating area, her dream of serving barbecue started small.
Originally, her husband Mike started the business out of a small trailer that went from festival to festival serving up their barbecue the only way they knew how—Memphis style. Soon, the business was invited to set up shop permanently in the Pace Furniture parking lot where they served customers until the furniture store decided to expand.
The trailer was soon towed to a different parking lot until Hurricane Ivan hit in 2004.
“Ivan put a tree down the center of the trailer,” Weaver said. “At that point, we were really out of business.”
But that tree didn’t stop Robin and her husband from getting the business back up and running again. Up until that point, business had been steady, but not booming.
But when the two fixed the trailer and got it back up and running, business picked up dramatically.
“We had it up and running by the middle of December that year, and business just boomed,” Weaver said.
It wasn’t until 2009 that Robin and her husband heard about the vacancy at the West Spencer Field Shops strip mall near the high school and decided to take a leap into a new adventure.
“I wasn’t too sure about the whole strip mall idea,” Weaver said. “I always wanted to be a little mom and pop store.”
But when Weaver walked into the building and noticed the kitchen, she immediately gave in.
“We fell in love with the kitchen,” Weaver said.
And when she moved into the building, word of mouth spread. Back in mid summer, Weaver’s tenant beside her moved out, she said she haggled with the landlord to get the next suite over to expand her business to allow for more seating.
The haggling paid off.
“We had it (the expansion construction) done in one weekend,” Weaver said. “We knocked down the wall and had to be closed that Tuesday, but we got it done.”
So far, the expansion, which was completed in August, has served her well.
During the lunch rush, both her original and expanded dining room are usually seen maxed out.
“We’re taking a big leap by expanding because of the economy, but so far it’s been great,” Weaver said.