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Dickey's barbecue growing from family restaurant to family dynasty

Roland Dickey, Sr. spokesman for Dickey's Barbecue Pit
Roland Dickey, Sr. spokesman for Dickey's Barbecue Pit
Dickey's Barbecue

In 1941, Roland Dickey’s dad, Travis Dickey, opened the first Dickey’s Barbecue in Dallas. In the 1970’s, Roland and his brother, TD, oversaw Dickey’s expansion in North Texas. Now Roland’s son, Roland Dickey, Jr. is president of a company that is spreading across the United States.

Started as a family restaurant
Travis Dickey opened Dickey’s Barbecue Pit on Knox/Henderson in Dallas. The Dickey family home was right behind the restaurant. That restaurant remained the only Dickey’s store, until brothers, Roland and TD, opened two more stores in 1969, but soon they expanded even more.

Became a Texas-wide business
Dickey’s restaurants spread out across North Texas in the early 1970’s. By 1972, they were the biggest barbecue restaurant chain in Texas. In 1976, Roland Dickey, Sr. was the barbecue chef for a catered event for presidential candidate, Ronald Reagan. By 1977, Dickey’s became the largest barbecue company in the country, but most of their stores were in Texas.

Growing to a national chain
In 1994, Dickey’s began franchising and expanding into other states. Currently there are 109 Dickey’s restaurants operating in 40 of the 50 states. Two of those restaurants are in Arlington, TX. According to Jeffrey Gruber, Dickey’s director of corporate marketing, Dickey’s plans to add another 56 stores in the near future.

Dickey’s has grown since its origins as a family restaurant, but they have been true to their roots. Dickey’s Barbecue is still family owned and family operated. You can visit the location of the original Dickey’s at 4610 N Central Expressway in Dallas. They still serve Dickey’s barbecue there.


  • Delia Rose 5 years ago

    Great job on this article, Veronica! Makes me want to check out Dickey's BBQ for sure! Say, if you ever go to Canton, be SURE to sample my friend, Tony's bbq place. I'll get the name of it for you & maybe you can expand your area just for one special occasion.

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