When you drive down the long windy dirt road to Sims BBQ it looks like nothing more than a couple of lifeless barns. However, once you walk into the doors, it comes alive. The walls are covered with history and the fireplace with rocking chairs seats the venue’s VIP guest, Keith Sims, the man who started the place back in the late 1970s. The decorations high up on the walls hold the secrets of the BBQ as they have watched many people come and go throughout the years. The delicious smell of pit-fired BBQ wafts in the air alongside the buttery warm aroma of homemade corn fritters.
The line of people stream in from outdoors with anxious grins as they anticipate the good wholesome night of fun ahead. As time winds around to 7 o’clock, the musicians take stage and start picking their instruments with passion flooding out with every note. Over the years the stage has welcomed banjos, fiddles, guitars, mandolins and many other instruments that call Appalachia their home. If you’re lucky you will catch one of the two house bands, The Dollar Brothers or the Zephyr Lightning Bolts, picking away at a bluegrass tune, playing tribute to the wonderful rolling hills of Appalachia.
In front of the stage lies a lonesome bench that seems to call to Keith Sims as he makes his way to the front to take in his masterpiece in all its glory. On that bench Keith breaks out two spoons that transform by way of his nimble hands into a bustling music-making duo. As the tunes roll around the room, the feet of youngsters start tapping along to the beat and twirling on the dance floor to the rhythm. To give the musicians a breath of air, the hostess comes to lead a few square dances.
The well-versed in dancing take their places assuredly while the new timers timidly approach the dance floor. Worries subside as the dance commences and new memories are being shaped by the many pairs of feet scuffling around. The band picks up tempo again and the cloggers take the stage, tapping along comfortably in sync with one another. A traditional past-time for the Sims family, many members join in for a quick boast of their clogging skills. 9 o’clock and the bell rings to close. People with bellies full of BBQ and banjo picking tunes still floating inside their heads waltz out the door and to their cars, as they venture down the windy dirt road that lead them to the magnificent Sims BBQ in the first place.
Whether you’re looking for a family friendly night out, or just looking to switch up your weekend nights, Sims is the place to be. With live bluegrass music every night, a dance floor capable of handling even the craziest of dance moves and ALL YOU CAN EAT BBQ, Sims is the ultimate night out. This venue gives you a whole Appalachian experience because you can listen to music from the region and even fit in free square dance lessons.
The family who started it still attends every weekend and the younger generations work hard to keep the traditions alive. I can guarantee you will never feel out of place walking around Sims, even if you’ve never heard a lick of banjo pickin’ in your life. The environment makes everybody feel like part of the Sims family and aims to make everyone feel at home. So, hop in your car this Friday night and mosey on down to Granite Falls, NC the location of Sims BBQ for a night you will never forget.