Since 1926, Sprayberry’s Barbecue has been standing at 229 Jackson Street in historic downtown Newnan, Ga. People say that the smell of the fresh wood burning mixed with the scent of the meat cooking on the old open pit is an intoxicating combination that cannot be ignored. It’s a smell that has been present for more than 85 years and has brought thousands of customers into the timeless tin-roofed establishment known for its mouthwatering pork barbecue, Brunswick stew and homemade desserts.
The inside of Sprayberry’s has remained relatively unchanged since it was opened by Mr. Houston Sprayberry in 1926. Upon entering the old wooden and glass-pained doors, the customer is almost taken back in time. The beautifully ornate tin ceiling tiles, crafted with leaves and swirls of cream paint, look untouched since their installation. The roar of the lunch crowd consisting of local downtown business owners and loyal daily customers invites the customer to join. Now inside, the intoxicating smell from outside the restaurant is even more intense and begs the customer to sit down at a table or the original soda-shop style counter and order quickly.
Once the customer has his or her food, the experience becomes even more exquisite. The vinegary taste of the dark red barbecue sauce mixed with the tenderness of the freshly cooked white meat is a tribute to the classic southern barbecue that has been made in Georgia for hundreds of years. Surrounded by old photographs of the Sprayberry family and a large canvas painting of the original design of the restaurant, it is hard to not feel at home in this richly historical establishment.
As if the barbecue wasn’t enough to get the taste buds tingling, Sprayberry’s thick Brunswick stew and golden homemade onion rings will certainly satisfy any lingering feelings of hunger. This combination of barbecue, stew and onion rings is what the Sprayberry family refers to as the “Lewis Grizzard Special,” as famous author and humorist Lewis Grizzard was a loyal and consistent customer of the restaurant up until his death in 1994. The restaurant walls are covered in articles Grizzard wrote about Sprayberry’s as well as more photographs of famous politicians, celebrities and athletes that have eaten there.
If the customer still has room in his or her stomach after the meal, the homemade desserts at Sprayberry’s will certainly not disappoint. The brightly colored yellow lemon ice box pie stacked inches high with fluffy white meringue and golden graham cracker crust is one of the most famous desserts on the menu. Also available are fresh apple and peach fried pies, creamy chocolate pie and crispy strawberry cobbler reminiscent of classic southern desserts “just like grandma made.”
The Sprayberry family takes great pride in their business as evident by the numerous shiny awards and framed newspaper clippings about the restaurant throughout both dining rooms and in the lobby. It is not uncommon to have three generations of Sprayberry family members working alongside each other on any given day. This family togetherness combined with the old world charm of the building itself, the food and the friendly servers and cooks makes any customer feel as if they too are part of the family. As the customer leaves the restaurant, he or she comes face to face with a giant pig logo painted on the window surrounded by the words “Pig Out at Sprayberry’s BBQ,” and in most cases, the customer will most definitely be back to “pig out” again.