In Northport, Alabama, the family-owned, family-run Archibald’s BBQ has been feeding the local community its signature pit-smoked ribs and sliced pork butt for 55 years. In this short film by Wes Wages, Armosa Films, and the Southern Foodways Alliance, the family behind Archibald’s — George Archibald Jr., his sister Paulette Washington, and her son Woodrow Washington — take center stage.
At the small restaurant, everything is smoked with hickory wood. “We use hickory because it’s tradition, and that’s the only thing I know. If it ain’t broke, don’t change it,” says Woodrow Washington, who jokes in the 2015 film that he’s the “future owner, maybe” of the legacy. (It seems to have come to fruition: Washington is now the owner of all three Archibald’s locations — including ones in Tuscaloosa — and the newer restaurants are called Archibald & Woodrow’s BBQ.) Watch the above to learn why the family recipe has drawn in barbecue fans for three generations.