The year was 1922, a time widely accepted as the
beginning of Memphis' love affair for pit-smoked
barbecue. For this was the year Leonard Heuberger
opened his little stand of 5 stools, selling his
creation, a barbecue sandwich, for just five
cents. He couldn't keep up with demand and that
modest beginning soon became the largest drive-in
restaurant of its time. People came from near and
far to pig-out on pit-cooked ribs and pork
shoulders that Leonard's popularized. The "King"
was a regular. Elvis would bring his friends for
after-hours parties that lasted 'til sunrise.
The old drive-in location is gone and Leonard
Heuberger has since passed away, but the labor
intensive recipes that made Leonard's unique
remain intact under the watchful eye of Dan
Brown, the owner. Dan started working at
Leonard's when he was 15 as a sandwich man.
Heuberger understood Dan's love for the
restaurant business, and guided him through every
phase of the Leonard's tradition. Now, nearly a
half century later, Dan, his wife Janet, and a
host of long time employees continue to watch
over the daily restaurant seatings, tour bus
groups and caterings with the same care that has
established Leonard's as a barbecue mecca for
over 85 years.