We haven’t been around long, but we’re getting noticed! With the help of our wonderful customers, Papa Russ’s BBQ has gained lots of recognition as a premier BBQ restaurant lately. Read on to see what all the fuss is about…
You may have heard the news, but it’s official… we’re THE provider of bar-be-que for Foxhound Baseball! Recently, some stadium executives came to the restaurant, loved the food and the rest is history…head out to the USC Aiken Stadium to catch a ball game and visit us, too!
BEST OF AIKEN
As is our tradition, Augusta Magazine has enlisted the services of Aiken native and writer Stephen Delaney Hale to provide an insider's view of the Best of Aiken. For this year's picks, Hale joined the regular Wednesday meeting of the Erbs and Browders-Bowery owners Sam Browder and Donna Erb - for their weekly happy hour. The group of longtime Aiken residents also includes Frances Browder, her daughter Lauren Browder O'Connor, her husband Shawn O'Connor and Linda Bennett. This weekly gathering always attracts a variety of Aiken cognoscenti, all of whom provided their expert contributions to the list of Aiken bests. Based on this stellar, if somewhat subjective, collaboration, we present their consensus for the Best of Aiken.
Best Oklahoma/ Texas-Style Barbecue
Papa Russ's (1860 Richland Ave. W.)
Dry rubbed and smoked to perfection. Beef, chicken and pork butts.
The Augusta Chronicle
AIKEN ECONOMY BOOMING AS RETAILERS SET UP SHOP
The city of Aiken can’t get enough of places to shop and dine. No less than a half-dozen establishments opened in recent weeks or will in the near future. More than 12 others are expected to be complete sometime in 2007. And the activity is coming on the heels of a surge in commercial growth during the past year that brought new stores to the city’s main drag, Whiskey Road. Some say it’s no coincidence that Aiken’s economy is bustling as the aging “baby boomer” generation enter retirement. “It’s an All-American city that has a great retirement community, quality industrial jobs,” said Jim Price, the vice president and senior broker at WSR Inc. The development company will break ground in coming weeks on a new Wal-Mart on the city’s north side, a planned shopping center off Richland Avenue that will include about 15 other “family-oriented” stores. The city expects additional national retailers at its Hitchcock Plaza, where a T.J. Maxx and Old Navy, among others, will join an existing Stein Mart. But the city’s newest shopping and dining options are being offered by smaller business owners, some of whom are trying to fill niches. Tom Pullan’s Go Health! Whole Foods Deli and Grille opened June 15. The restaurant sells nutritionally balanced, made-to-order meals, Mr. Pullan said. The business model was a big hit among health-conscious 20 and 30-somethings in Hong Kong and New Jersey, fast-paced locales where Mr. Pullan operated similar stores. His friends told him Aiken wouldn’t support his business. “I was going to take some time off,” said Mr. Pullan, who moved to Aiken last year to be closer to his wife’s family. “Somehow, I don’t know, I just go antsy and restless, and I took this opportunity to see if it would fly in the South like it did in the Northeast.” So far his clientele is noticeably grayer than before, Mr. Pullan said. “I’m not yet convinced, but I’m as positive as I can be,” he said. About two weeks ago, Sue Shannon and Jim and Susan Victor opened Nandina, a home-furnishings store in downtown Aiken. They had noticed many homeowners shopping for such goods over the Internet. And they’re not just counting on shoppers who live in Aiken, Ms. Shannon said. “Aiken is becoming a destination stop,” she said. “People from Augusta are coming over here and eating at our restaurants and shopping. It’s one of the few cities that has been able to keep its downtown charm.” Russ and Jennifer Richardson are counting on retirees eating at Papa Russ’s B-B-Q, but they’re also sort of retired themselves. The couple just moved to Aiken from New Jersey to retire, but Mr. Richardson, 61, still works at his manufacturing-sales job. They plan to offer Texas-style smoked beef barbecue at their restaurant when it opens in August. “With so many people coming from all over the US, with experience with different types of flavors, it gives us more of an opportunity,” Mr. Richardson said. “We’ve got to prove ourselves first.”
The Aiken Standard
OKLAHOMA FLAVOR COMING TO AIKEN!
When it opens in late summer, Papa Russ’s BBQ will bring a new style of slow-smoked barbecue to Aiken. Russell Richardson said he and his wife, Jennifer, look forward to opening the new restaurant on Richland Avenue. “This is something I’ve always wanted to do,” said Richardson, who is originally from Oklahoma and now lives in New Jersey. “Barbecue is a passion for me. I found a place to live and said let’s do this.” Russell and Jennifer have bought a house and are excited about moving to Aiken near the end of June. Richardson said he cooks an Oklahoma style barbecue that includes slow smoked barbecue brisket. “It will be a little different style of barbecue,” Richardson said. “We do smoked barbecue that has a real smoked flavor.” Richardson said his granddaughters call him “Papa Russ,” which is how he came up with the name for the restaurant. Richardson said the restaurant will offer walk-in dining and catering. “We plan to open between the first and the 15th of August,” Richardson said. In addition to the barbecue, Richardson said there will be side dishes on the menu with some fun names. “We’re going to have a lot of fun with it,” Richardson said. “It’s going to be really good.” The restaurant will be located at 1860 Richland Avenue, the site of the former Fresco’s California Grill.