When Smokegears shared their 15 Best BBQ in Nashville list, it was no surprise that Edley’s Bar-B-Que was at the top of the list. The article stated: “The city (Nashville) is rapidly rising through the ranks of the cities with the best BBQ spots in the country.” Edley’s Bar-B-Que is making a name for itself among BBQ franchises.

Let’s find out why!

  1. Defining Nashville Style Barbeque
  2. CBS News: The Dish Interviews Edley’s Bar-B-Que
  3. Nashville Style: The Heart of Edley’s Bar-B-Que
  4. Meat Plus Three: A Southern Tradition
  5. Bourbon Plus BBQ
  6. Not Just Any Old BBQ Franchise

Edley’s Bar-B-Que is Defining “Nashville Style BBQ”

The city has some great BBQ joints. But some BBQ aficionados think that unlike Texas and Memphis, Nashville does not have a history of being a barbecue town. Moreover, they think that Nashville doesn’t have a signature BBQ style like Memphis-style meat or Texas-style brisket.

Edley’s Bar-B-Que founders Catherine and Will Newman aim to fix that notion. After more than a decade in their original Nashville and Chattanooga locations, their first BBQ restaurant franchise opened in Glen Carbon, Illinois. And their Nashville style BBQ franchises are expanding throughout the Southeast and Midwest.

Restaurateur Will Newman Puts New Spin on Old Traditions with Nashville Style


“From Kansas City to the Carolinas, America has a wide variety of barbecue styles. For restaurateur Will Newman, his specialty is in ‘Nashville style,’ which is what he’s cooking up at the four locations of Edley’s Bar-B-Que.  Newman named the restaurant chain after his grandfather, and Thrillist considers the spot among the best in the city.”

This is a direct quote from the interview

In a recent televised interview on The Dish: CBS This Morning, Founder Will Newman is interviewed about his “Nashville Style” BBQ.

In the CBS feature, Edley’s Bar-B-Que is called “one of the music city’s most beloved down-home eateries, a place where locals come with their children and dogs – looking for that Southern goodness that makes this place unique.”

Nashville BBQ Franchises Style are at the Heart of Edley’s Bar-B-Que

What is this “Southern goodness that makes (his BBQ) unique?” Newman tells CBS how he develops Edley’s Bar-B-Que’s distinctive smoky flavor:

The star of the table, the meat, has thoroughly been through the smoker. Newman explains, “In the South, BBQ means smoking our meat. It takes a 12-hour process to smoke our meats – we start tonight for the meat we’ll be serving tomorrow. Smoking just infuses a flavor that is so distinct. You’re bringing in the flavor of the wood; it enriches the flavor of the meat. We wanted to infuse that down home feeling of Nashville in our barbecue. The code to good BBQ is, it has to be very humble. The meat speaks for itself,” says Newman.

The other flavors come from the seasoning. For instance, “we have our own hot chicken rub. Take the punishment,” Newman urges. “The way we create this, (you) typically find the heat on your tongue or the lips and it builds with each bite. The first bite is very approachable. Then it builds up on your tongue. Then the lips. Until too long, the sweat builds up on my bald head,” he laughs.

And that’s how Edley’s Bar-B-Que has created their distinctive Nashville Style BBQ franchise. “If you’re born in Memphis, there’s just something stamped in your DNA that’s barbecue,” notes Newman.

Meat Plus Three: A Southern Tradition

Another element of that Southern goodness is the sides. “As for the sides,” quips Newman, “they’re given as much attention as the meat. We went (with) very high-quality ingredients on the mac – for instance, we use a gouda base on our mac and cheese.”

According to Thrillist, “Edley’s Bar-B-Que is pretty much the perfect combination of BBQ and the Southern tradition of meat and three*…and if you think there’s nothing new left to discover in the world of ’cue, Edley’s Bar-B-Que has worked to make their innovative Nashville Hot BBQ a thing, and it is! Sides are made daily, ranging from eight to 10 choices of secret family recipes.”

Nashville BBQ aficionado Bill Cavendish sums it up best: “Give proper respect to the place that will let you have banana pudding as a side item,” he says of Edley’s Bar-B-Que.

*Meat Plus Three (or “Meat ’n Three”) is popular throughout the United States, but its roots can be traced to Tennessee and its capital of Nashville. The phrase has been described in Wikipedia as implying “glorious vittles served with utmost informality.” It is also associated with soul food.

If you want your new BBQ restaurant franchise to be authentically Southern, look for a business that offers Meat ’n Three.

Authentically Southern Drinks: Bourbon, Plus BBQ

“No visit to Edley’s would be complete without a sip of the Bushwacker,” according to CBS. Newman sums it up: “Think of it as an adult version of a frosty, but all kinds of goodness is added to it. Lots of rum, crème de cocoa, coffee liquor, some milk and 151. Bushwacker is our staple; people come from all over for it,” adds Newman. The drink is so popular, Edley’s Bar-B-Que serves it out of a machine.

Not Just Any Old BBQ Franchise

If you’re looking for a fun and exciting BBQ franchise business, one that stands out from the rest, by now it should be clear to you that a “Nashville Style” BBQ franchise with Edley’s Bar-B-Que is the ticket. The brand has defined their own Nashville style of BBQ, but has also stayed true to other southern traditions of Meat ’n Three, BBQ and Bourbon, and good old fashioned fun.

Ready to serve up some Southern goodness of your own? Read all about our lip-smackin’ opportunity to invest in your own Edley’s Nashville Style BBQ franchise. Click here now: edleysbbqfranchise.com