Golden Rule Bar-B-Q

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Golden Rule Bar-B-Q is a Birmingham-based barbeque chain founded in 1891 in what is now Irondale. The chain is best known for its sauce and pulled pork sandwiches. Its corporate offices are located at 15 Office Park Circle in Mountain Brook's Office Park.

The Golden Rule began in 1891 as a stop for travelers headed toward Atlanta from Birmingham, but also appealed to local residents and became one of the area's well-known gathering places.

By the late 1930s, Jabo and Ellene Williams Stone took over the restaurant, which was still in her family. It was at this time a new building was constructed along the Atlanta Highway where the business would remain through the 1950s. Jabo would construct what would be the restaurant's third location just off U.S. Highway 78 in Irondale before selling the business to Michael Matsos in 1969 for a percentage of sales over 20 years. Matsos constructed a fourth location at the present site of the Irondale location off Interstate 20 in the early 1970s.

By 1973, as part of his agreement with Stone, Matsos opened a second Golden Rule location on what was originally called the "Florida Highway" in Hoover. In 1976 Matsos sold this location to Nick Manakides, who would become the first Golden Rule franchisee. Manakides continued as a franchisee until 2020 when he rebranded his restaurant as Archie's Bar-B-Q & Burgers.

Another franchisee, Rusty Creel, partnered with Sneaky Pete's Café operators Bob and Mark Lovell to open a Golden Rule on the prominent corner of 29th Street South and Clairmont Avenue in Lakeview in 2006. That location closed in 2010.

Brian Kemp, who had partnered with Golden Rule to share a location at 120 South Chalkville Road in Trusville in 2022, bought the brand from Matsos in 2023.

Birmingham locations

Former locations


External links