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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region.

ORAL HISTORY

Doug Walker


Doug Walker believes in the virtues of “laying down food,” tasty and substantial Southern fare that makes you want to lie down and take a nap. Slow-smoked barbecue sandwiches, beans and slaw, and super-sweet tea so thick, “you can use it on your pancakes.”

Clyde Gridley stated Gridley’s in 1975. Seeking to revolutionize the barbecue-experience, he added white tablecloths and tuxedoed servers. But after the tragic death of the young Mr. Gridley, the restaurant floundered for several decades.

Though only in the barbecue business for two years, Mr. Walker has high-hopes for this once-cherished Memphis institution. Minus the tablecloths and tuxedoes, he aims to bring Gridley’s back to what its namesake started.


 

Date of interview:
2008-07-16 00:00

Interviewer:
Rien T. Fertel

Photographer:
Rien T. Fertel

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