The Crusader Newspaper Group

Lem’s Barbeque to host 65th Anniversary Bash

Crusader Staff Report

Lem’s Barbeque, a community institution, will celebrate its 65th birthday with a two-day celebration at the eatery’s Grand Crossing location August 30-31.

Several events will be held in the eatery’s parking lot, located at 311 E. 75th Street.

Grammy Award-winning DJ and producer Maurice Joshua will provide the music. There will be line dancing, health screenings and a kid zone that will include a bounce house, games, activities, and free face painting.

Guests will also receive a free gift when they purchase food from Lem’s.

Lem’s was opened in 1954 at 59th and State Street by brothers Myles and Bruce Lemons. Over six decades, Lem’s has served the sweet aroma of barbeque ribs cooked with hickory wood. Lem’s recipe, and its pitmasters, have seduced numerous celebrities including the late Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, who would stop by Lem’s after her concerts in Chicago.  The restaurant continues to entice thousands of area residents to its tiny building in Chatham, once the bedrock for middle class Black professionals.

To newcomers, it’s Lem’s Bar-B-Que, but for years, longtime fans have known it simply as Lem’s.

The current location was established in 1968. The building was formerly a Tastee Freeze ice cream parlor that also served milk shakes. The iconic Lem’s marquee still has a cup and a straw.


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