Award-Winning Foundation

In fall of 1983, the original Calhoun’s opened on Kingston Pike. Soon after, we put our smokers and signature sauce to the test and traveled to Ohio to enter The National Rib Cook-Off, which we won, along with the bonafide right to call ours the “Best Ribs in America.”

Since then, we haven’t looked back. Today, our ribbon-winning flavors have expanded far beyond ribs and sauce, and we’re proud to be a place where loved ones gather ‘round for good times and a taste of the best BBQ and southern comfort food in the state!

A Legacy Built on Tradition

Times have changed since we first opened our doors, but our recipes and techniques have remained the same. We believe in honoring traditional southern barbeque and continuing our own winning legacy by serving only the freshest, tastiest BBQ classics and scratch-made sides possible, which you can try for yourself at one of our 20+ locations across East Tennessee.

C’mon down for the best BBQ and southern hospitality around!

What We Stand For

Our company was built on a few core principles that still hold true today.


We’re a family-owned business committed to serving other families—both visiting and local—with the respect and dignity they deserve. We treat all of our guests and team members like part of the family to help create unity and build community from within our restaurants.


We believe the best dining experiences start with the highest quality ingredients. Our “small batches more often” philosophy and exclusive commissary help ensure guest satisfaction by allowing us to serve the freshest cut, chopped, and cooked ingredients in the area!


We understand the importance of an exceptional guest experience. A meal out isn’t just a meal out anymore, it’s a cause for celebration in itself. That’s why we strive to make every dining guest experience a positive, memorable one by listening and learning from feedback as we continue to grow.


Annual “Veterans Eat Free” Day

For as long as Calhoun’s has been around, giving back has been a way for us to connect with our community and help others where we can. Today, Calhoun’s is actively involved with multiple organizations and local causes.

One of our favorite (and busiest) days of the year is Veterans Day. On this day, we’re humbled to feed thousands of veterans and members of the Armed Forces at no cost. In this small way, we honor big sacrifices made to protect our freedoms.

If you know of another opportunity for Calhoun’s to help meet a need in our community, we’d love to hear about it. Please send your request to