Red State BBQ owner David Carroll
There is nothing quite like a good, unpretentious roadside BBQ joint for memorable comfort food. Located at 4020 Georgetown Road near Lexington in front of the Sunset Motel, Red State BBQ (www.redstatebbq.com) is just that type of place.
Red State offers Texas-style barbecue in a fast-casual setting. The restaurant opened in 2009 under the ownership of equine veterinarian Scott Ahlschwede. Ahlschwede moved to New York and contacted Lexington native David Carroll, who was a loyal customer and also a marketing consultant for Clear Channel Media, about buying the business. Carroll jumped at the opportunity because he believed in the concept and loved the food. He also knew it had solid management with general manager Jennifer Wiglesworth.
Carroll took over ownership, effective April 1. At age 15, he worked as a dishwasher at the famed Saratoga Restaurant and in following years worked at other restaurants, giving him experience for this venture.
As with any barbecue joint, the star of the concept is the food, and Red State BBQ is no different. It’s a simple menu that revolves around barbecued pork, chicken, ribs and brisket, plus sauces and sides.
Customers can choose from sandwiches and plates (including two sides). They can also purchase meat by the pound (great for tailgating, groups and family gatherings).
Red State offers a barbecued nachos entree and choices of seven side items, including baked beans, green beans, cole slaw, corn pudding, potato salad, mac and cheese and french fries. Proprietary sauces include Texas Spicy, Memphis Sweet and Carolina Mustard. Occasionally, they have limited-time-only offerings, such as alligator sausage po boy sandwiches.
Carroll has some changes planned for the concept that build on the foundation established by Ahlschwede. Some subtle interior changes are in process, along with signage changes. He plans to increase the catering business and enhance the line-up of Red State BBQ merchandise, including T-shirts and hats.
The menu will evolve over time, Carroll said, and at some point, he hopes to consider expanding the concept to other locations in central Kentucky. In addition to its website, Red State BBQ also can be found on Facebook.