Clewiston, Florida: Old South BBQ Ranch (Gone)

Fondly recalled barbeque tourist attraction.
Was in the general vicinity of the KFC on Route 27--on the other side of the street.

Visitor Tips and News About Old South BBQ Ranch

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Old South Bar-B-Q Ranch

It was a great restaurant that had billboards throughout South Florida advertising "Cold Beer."

[Tampadave, 04/11/2016]
Old South BBQ

Boy, this was the place. Every time we would go fishing on Lake Okeechobee we would stop at the Ranch for lunch on our way home. IT WAS THE BEST! I still have great memories of it and these trips took place over 30 years ago. I am actually starting to cry now that I found out it is gone! We used to climb on the fiberglass horses and cows and play on their outside decor forever and the food was great too. This was the type of place that knew how to do it right! Goodbye Old South BBQ, you will be truly missed!

[Kathryn Krishon Mongeon, 11/25/2012]
Old South BBQ Ranch - Vague Recollections

My family moved to Clewiston in 1960 from Alabama, and lived there for 8 years (through 6th grade). I still have friends there and see them a few times a year. As a child I loved to eat at the Ranch. The Q at the Ranch was the best I have ever had. Remembering back to the times when every BBQ place you went into smelled of cooking meats. It's the main ingredient that's left out of BBQ joints today; you never smell the cooking that's going on. This place had all of that plus an outside ambience beyond description. The roadside signs started 50 miles north of Clewiston on HWY 27. I knew that we were almost home when we started seeing the signs.

My friends say the Clewiston Inn does not even come close to the old place. What a shame.

[George, 12/29/2011]
Old South BBQ Ranch

The Clewiston Inn obtained the recipes, and now serves it on their menu. I couldn't bring myself to eat BBQ in their fancy dining room, though.

[J. Bradley, 05/30/2010]
Old South BBQ Ranch - Vague Recollections

"Old South BBQ Ranch--Where Eatin's Real Fun!" Another famous attraction of the US Route 27 gateway to south Florida is gone forever. Signage along Route 27 once extended for hundreds of miles northward in the days before interstate freeways, full of homespun sayings with all the charm of the long-gone Burma Shave signs. The attraction itself was a simple BBQ restaurant, but done up with a wild west theme -- curious enough for the Florida locale at the southern edge of Lake Okeechobee.

The outside was full of fiberglass 'old west' characters, wagon wheels, and punny signs adorning the building and parking lot. The inside was full of old west decor and bric-a-brac, and the waitresses wore Dale Evans-style cowgirl costumes with toy holsters.

I discovered the place on my first visit to Florida in 1974, and always made sure to stop by for a meal whenever business would take me back every few years. The food was usually pretty good enough and I last sampled it in the summer of 1998. Then I came back through Clewiston in July 2001 and -- horrors! -- it was all gone. The cop who stopped to ask what I was looking for said that it had been gone a couple years. Only the familiar but nondescript shape of the building remained to guide me -- all traces of the wild west decor outside were gone, replaced by a fenced lot for storing the boats of the new business inside.

[Chris Hobbs, 05/26/2002]

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