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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. If you would like to contribute to SFA’s oral history collections, please send your ideas for oral history along with your CV or Resume and a portfolio of prior oral history work to

< Back to Oral History project: Texas BBQ


Billy Inman

In 1960 Lester Inman started selling barbecue at his Exxon station in Llano, Texas, developing a turkey sausage based on a recipe passed down by his wife’s grandmother. By 1964, he’d convinced his brother Francis to open up shop down the highway in Marble Falls. Inman’s Ranch House Bar-B-Q occupies the front half of a duplex; for years, Francis and his family lived in the back half. When Lester passed away in 1988, the family sold the Llano location and Francis’s son, Billy, came into the business. Billy Inman has run Inman’s Ranch House Bar-B-Q ever since, buying out his father’s share in 1999. Although the family no longer lives in the back half of the restaurant, the location is still the same. Billy, who still welcomes the help of his father, caters to regulars and passers-through, serving up fresh sausage and brisket cooked using direct heat from an oak fire. Like his uncle and father, Billy prides himself on making a quality product at prices working folks can afford. Available by the pound or by the plate, the meat at Inman’s is the result of hours of cooking during long days that often begin before sunrise and stretch well into the evening.

Date of interview:
2007-03-02 00:00

Melanie Haupt and Carly Kocurek

Carly Kocurek

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The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.


Alex Raij Txikito

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