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Home > Hall of Famers > 2018 Inductees > Charlie Vergos

Charlie Vergos

It all started in 1948. At the time, Charlie Vergos co-owned a 'meat and three' restaurant called Wimpy’s with his brother-in-law. Charlie and his brother-in-law had different views on the future, so Charlie decided he’d move into the basement and sell ham sandwiches and beer in a snack joint he called The Rendezvous.

At that time, ribs were scrap meat. Ribs had been a staple of backyard barbecues in Memphis neighborhoods for years, but not used in restaurants. So Charlie took a chance and came up with his own formula, still used today: he threw the racks in 18 inches from the fire, and grilled them for an hour and fifteen minutes to seal in the flavor. From that moment on, “Memphis Style Ribs” were created and it became the standard and changed the world of BBQ forever.

Creating the famous dry ribs established The Rendezvous. Not only did it become one of the most famous spots for high profile guests, but also made a name for downtown Memphis when it needed it the most. It has been said that Charlie was an “icon for saving Downtown.” Since then, the famous location has won many prestigious awards including one of 50 All American Icons by Nation’s Restaurant News magazine.

In 2010 Charlie passed away, but his legacy continues through his family who run the restaurant and still serve those signature ribs the same way. Locals, tourists, dignitaries, and celebrities all come down through the alley and down those steps to experience The Rendezvous.

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