Cooter Brown’s Rib Shack is a full service restaurant and bar located at 8464 Alabama Highway 204 in Jacksonville, Alabama, in close proximity to Jacksonville State University. The establishment opened its doors in April of 2000 under the proprietorship of Tim and Barbara Johnson. With the guidance of the owners, Cooter Brown’s began the process of reshaping its image from just a county line beer joint to a legitimate barbecue restaurant with alcohol sales as an added amenity. The success of this business model prompted the owners to add on to the original rustic building, which was built in the 1950’s, to accommodate a larger smoke room and kitchen and to provide a waiting area and patio for patrons.
A key to the success of Cooter Brown’s is the fact that they smoke their own meats and use a dry rub and barbecue sauce recipe unique to their restaurant and crafted in-house. This attention to quality and detail garnered the mom and pop restaurant the unique honor of having their ribs listed as one of the “100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die” by the Alabama Board of Tourism. The rib shack has also received numerous local awards, winning the “Taste of Calhoun County” multiple times and having their ribs voted “Best Ribs” by the Anniston Star. Their rub and sauce, along with other merchandise, are available for purchase at their physical location as well as through their website.
The cozy public house atmosphere of the restaurant and the vintage bar top make the venue a great place to have a drink with friends and colleagues. Aside from widely available domestic beers, the bar offers many local and regional brews that appeal to regulars and out of town visitors alike. The pub also offers liquors and mixed drinks if beer is not what the customer desires.
As with any critically acclaimed restaurant, Cooter Brown’s Rib Shack offers some unique menu items that are not available anywhere else. A favorite appetizer offered by the restaurant is the Hillbilly Eggroll, touted as an eggroll done Cooter Style. The Down South Philly is a pulled pork sandwich exclusive to Cooter Brown’s and is topped with traditional Philly Cheesesteak fixings. The shack also offers smoked chicken wings available with just a dry rub or with other, more traditional sauces.
Cooter Brown’s Rib Shack offers catering services to the community as well. Although they do not provide chafing dishes, serving staff, or post event clean up, their catering service does offer an expanded menu to include chicken, turkey, ham, and beef dishes that are not available on their in-house menu. Patrons may pick up their catered items at the restaurant or they can have the food delivered to the location of the event. And if you are looking for a great item to sell for a fundraising event, Cooter Brown’s can also help you with that. The restaurant offers racks of smoked ribs and smoked Boston butts for bulk fundraising activities. They offer free delivery within 30 miles for this service, provided a minimum order is placed.
Cooter Brown’s Rib Shack has become a staple of the Calhoun County barbecue scene through hard work and a commitment to serving the local community. If you live in the area or if you are just passing through, their “Good Ribs and Tasty Butts” are well worth your time.