Bob Sykes BarB-Q
1927 9th Avenue, Bessemer
Like Andrew’s and Johnny Ray’s, Bob Sykes is a old-timer in the Barbecue business in Birmingham. The first Bob Sykes location opened in the Central Park neighborhood of Birmingham in 1957. By 1977, there were 14 locations all around Birmingham. That is how I came to know about Bob Sykes: there was a location near us in Center Point, and it was some good stuff. However, Mr. Sykes suffered a stroke in 1970, leaving his wife Maxine to run all those restaurants, so in 1977 she closed all of the branch locations and kept only the Bessemer location open. The restaurant is now run by Van Sykes, Bob and Maxine’s son.
In addition to the regular menu items, Bob Sykes is also well known for their family dinners to go: lots o’ good barbecue for not a lot o’ money. And, like so many B’ham barbecue places, they have really good pies: chocolate, pecan, coconut, and lemon.
Bob Sykes has still got it goin’ on!