Sticky Fingers Ribhouse Celebrates 25th Anniversary With A Return To Its Roots

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Sticky Fingers Ribhouse, with 12 barbecue restaurants in the Southeast, is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year. While the past 25 years have brought many ups and downs for the company, Sticky Fingers’ focus this year is to return to its roots with one of the founders, Chad Walldorf back at the helm. By reintroducing the original emphasis, legendary service and incredible barbecue, and by bringing back some of the old Sticky culture, Mr. Walldorf hopes to return the restaurants to their glory days.

It all started in 1992 with three high school friends, Mr. Walldorf, Jeff Goldstein and Todd Eischeid, who all moved from Tennessee to Charleston, S.C. to open a rib restaurant they named Sticky Fingers. They knew a good bit about cooking Memphis style-barbecue, but not much else. Over the next fifteen years, Sticky Fingers Ribhouse grew to 16 restaurants in five southeastern states and was regularly featured in local and national publications for having some of the best ribs, wings and barbecue in the country. They credited the success to the help of some incredible team members and great customers along with a focus on providing legendary service and preparing authentic, Memphis-style barbecue.

About a decade ago, the trio sold their company in order to focus on their young families. During the following 10 years, Sticky Fingers drifted away from its roots in almost every way – from the menu to the staff to the atmosphere. The company’s headquarters was moved to various cities around the Southeast that didn’t have Sticky Fingers restaurants.

At one point, it was even owned by a group of lenders. “Banks aren’t usually known for their incredible hospitality,” said Mr. Walldorf in discussing the decline of his former company. Many of Sticky’s long-time employees left as did some of their loyal customers. “It was extremely hard to watch the decline of the brand we built, the culture we helped create and the people we cared about."

Last year, Sticky Fingers Operating Partner Robert Patterson convinced Mr. Walldorf to return and help him in his efforts to turn the brand around. “After visiting some of the restaurants, I realized the Sticky spirit was still there,” Mr. Walldorf said. “The brand was somewhat tarnished but spirit was still alive amongst Robert, many long-time team members and loyal customers so I agreed to help Sticky Fingers get its mojo back.”

Going into its 25th year with a new (old) focus, a new (old) management philosophy, a new (old) home office in South Carolina and a rejuvenated spirit, Mr. Walldorf, Mr. Patterson and their team are ready to bring Sticky back. “We’ve retooled our atmosphere, our menu and our culture. It’s been like one of those restaurant make-over shows - but in real time over many months rather than just in an hour-long show. Our focus has returned to doing what we do best – providing legendary service with incredible ribs, wings and barbecue.”

In celebration of their 25th anniversary, Sticky Fingers Ribhouse will offer specials throughout the year featuring barbecue combinations you can’t find on their regular menu and highlighting their signature barbecue sauces.



Moe’s Original BBQ Opening At Site Of Rhythm And Brews; Mad Night Brewing Slated For Tennessee Avenue

Moe’s Original BBQ, 221 Market St., will be opening in the space formerly occupied by Rhythm and Brews. The owners also have a beer license for Mellow Mushroom.   Jason Jones, representative from the company, said all servers are TIPs trained and IDs are checked for all customers. He said he had taken notes about the fake IDs discussed at a beer board meeting and will ... (click for more)

Sticky Fingers Ribhouse Celebrates 25th Anniversary With A Return To Its Roots

Sticky Fingers Ribhouse, with 12 barbecue restaurants in the Southeast, is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year. While the past 25 years have brought many ups and downs for the company, Sticky Fingers’ focus this year is to return to its roots with one of the founders, Chad Walldorf back at the helm. By reintroducing the original emphasis, legendary service and incredible ... (click for more)

Signal School Study Says Under Own School System Much More Could Go To The Classroom; Lennon Says Getting Land, Buildings A Major Issue

A panel studying a new school system operated by Signal Mountain concluded that much more money could go directly into the classroom, helping students further increase their potential.   However, County School Board member Kathy Lennon said how the town would be able to acquire the land and buildings is a major issue.   A group of Signal Mountain residents ... (click for more)

Man, 39, Shot Late Friday Night In The Vicinity Of North Chamberlain Avenue

Police said a 39-year-old man was shot late Friday night in the vicinity of North Chamberlain Avenue.   He was identified as Ruben Williams Sr.   Officers with the Chattanooga Police Department were informed just before midnight that a shooting victim arrived at a local hospital via personal vehicle.   Officers made contact with the victim who advised ... (click for more)

CVB Should Share Financials With The Home Folks

The recent debate over the Convention and Visitor's Bureau's funding and budget has gotten ugly. A Hamilton County commissioner has asked questions and made comments about the CVB. The director of the CVB has organized a campaign to dismiss the commissioner's questions and comments. The children on the playground are choosing sides and nothing useful seems to be happening. It's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Trump's Latest Delight

I was quite amused this week when Donald Trump’s administration “locked out” several news organizations from the daily press briefings at the White House. The reason I loved it because in the 50 years I have spent in the news business, I have been locked out of press conferences, too. To be truthful, I am a longtime veteran of a bunch of “you versus me” squabbles and, if I do say, ... (click for more)