Full Moon Bar-B-Que

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Full Moon Bar-B-Que is a chain of 15 barbecue restaurants founded by former Alabama Crimson Tide assistant football coach Pat James and his wife, Eloise. They opened the original location in Southside (still called Pat James' Full Moon Bar-B-Que) in 1981 and sold it in 1997 to brothers David and Joe Maluff, who expanded the chain to six locations in Alabama under their Jam Food Co., Inc name, and began franchising it to other cities under their Maluff Foods LLC moniker. They have made their Hoover location, opened in 1998 on Patton Chapel Road, into the flagship of their Alabama concept.

Full Moon is known for its zingy sauce and the spoonful of hot chow-chow which tops each sandwich. The restaurant also serves a full menu of barbecued meats, sandwiches, baked potatoes and sides. It is also known for its carrot cake and chocolate dipped "half moon" cookies.

In February 2005 Maluff partnered with Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis to open Ray Lewis' Full Moon Barbecue in that city's Canton neighborhood. That restaurant was more upscale in its design, and has a few extras such as grilled salmon and filet mignon on the menu. The brothers made plans to seek out other partnerships with well-known athletes in Nashville, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. and hoped to one day expand nationwide.

In 2007 the Baltimore restaurant's investment group sold its share of the restaurant to Lewis, whose family now operates it themselves. The former investors filed suit against the Maluffs alleging mishandling of funds, but voluntarily dropped the suit before it went to trial.

Full Moon's Tuscaloosa location on McFarland Boulevard was destroyed during the April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak. A manager was able to get all employees and customers into a cooler before the twister hit the building. No fatal injuries occurred but 3 had to be hospitalized with injuries. The Maluffs rebuilt the store across the street from its former location.

In early 2012 the chain began offering bottled versions of its sauce and chow-chow in local Piggly Wiggly and Western Supermarkets. A "Moon Man" costumed mascot debuted in October 2015.

Cousins Naseem Ajlouny Jr and Chase Ajlouny own and operate the locations in Alabaster, Jasper, McCalla, and Pelham. Both men worked for the Maluffs in Southside before becoming franchise owners in 2006. Their fathers and an uncle own and operate several local Piggly Wiggly supermarkets.

On May 7, 2018, the Inverness location suffered a large kitchen fire and was closed for several weeks for repairs. In 2021 the chain's first out-of-state location opened in Madison, a suburb of Jackson, Mississippi.



  • Lockyer, Sarah E. (May 3, 2004) "Full Moon expands its universe, seeks starring role in barbecue segment." Restaurant News
  • O'Hara, Jo Ellen (March 2, 2007) "Full Moon Bar-B-Que adding to its menu." The Birmingham News
  • Farmer, Liz (June 20, 2007) "Investors in Baltimore eatery file $6M claim." The (Baltimore) Record
  • Williams, Roy L. (December 16, 2009) "Business runs in the family for Magic City's Ajlouny clan." The Birmingham News
  • Fullman, Lynn Grisard (December 28, 2009) "A review of favorite recipes from Birmingham area restaurants." The Birmingham News
  • Williams, Roy L. (May 15, 2011) "Rebuilding: Small businesses bore the brunt of the April 27 tornadoes, with some dealing with buildings destroyed, customer traffic disrupted and employees picking up back home." The Birmingham News
  • Diel, Stan (March 15, 2012) "Full-Moon sauce, 'chow' on move." The Birmingham News
  • Carlton, Bob (May 4, 2012) "Full Moon Bar-B-Que". The Birmingham News
  • Williams, Roy L. (July 8, 2012) "On the Record with David and Joe Maluff, co-owners of Full Moon Bar-B-Que." The Birmingham News
  • Fullman, Lynn Grisard (October 14, 2013) "Dishing With: Naseem Ajlouny of Full Moon Alabaster." The Birmingham News
  • Carlton, Bob (December 21, 2016) "Full Moon Bar-B-Que opening its 13th Alabama restaurant this spring." The Birmingham News
  • Staff (February 26, 2018) "Trussville location of Full Moon Bar-B-Que set for Fall 2018." Trussville Tribune
  • Dawkins, Stephen (May 8, 2018) "Barbecue restaurant closed after structure fire." 280 Reporter
  • Patchen, Tyler (September 27, 2021) "Full Moon Bar-B-Que opens restaurant in Madison, Mississippi." Birmingham Business Journal

External links