Backyard BBQ revitalizes a classic space

Backyard BBQ (small)By Chris Galford- On West Sylvania Avenue big changes have happened since February: Backyard BBQ has opened its doors, replacing the erstwhile Bigz Bar and Grille. Through renovation and a quality approach to reputation adjustment, the end result is a family-oriented restaurant complete with music and its own special sauces.

“Chef James Riddle makes my job easier as a manager when visiting the tables because he puts a lot of love in his food,” said general manager Jennifer Hurst.

Yet what makes or breaks a barbeque night out is, of course, the sauce, which Backyard BBQ has in spades.

“Three BBQ sauces sit on our tables, which is a big benefit if you get everything dry. Our most popular: sweet BBQ. But we also have Louisiana BBQ; its vinegar base has a tangy BBQ taste that pairs best with our smoked beef products. We also have a spicy,” Jennifer said.

The beneficiaries of those spicy delights include pulled pork sandwiches, beef briskets, smoked turkey dinners, and their popular half-rack ribs. Everything on the menu is also smoked in-house and made in-house, which in turn benefits the quality of their catering services. On the weekend, after 9 p.m., they also appeal to the crowd with country music and line dancing.

Winter is not about to slow them down, though. With 22 craft beers on draft, more than 50 different whiskeys to choose from and a few upcoming wine tastings, they have what it takes to warm the colder months. Yet they have also cobbled together some seasonal deals.

“All throughout the football season, Monday nights have been awesome. We do our chicken chunks for 99 cents; people go crazy over that. Starting on Wednesdays, we have a build-your-own pulled pork sandwich. Starts at $4, we add to that depending on what you want,” Jennifer said.

Show your support for local businesses! Call Jennifer at 419-475-2515; email at; or visit Backyard BBQ at 2600 W. Sylvania Ave #1, Toledo, OH.