Sticky Fingers Ribhouse Celebrates 25th Anniversary With A Return To Its Roots

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Sticky Fingers Ribhouse, with 12 barbecue restaurants in the Southeast, is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year. While the past 25 years have brought many ups and downs for the company, Sticky Fingers’ focus this year is to return to its roots with one of the founders, Chad Walldorf back at the helm. By reintroducing the original emphasis, legendary service and incredible barbecue, and by bringing back some of the old Sticky culture, Mr. Walldorf hopes to return the restaurants to their glory days.

It all started in 1992 with three high school friends, Mr. Walldorf, Jeff Goldstein and Todd Eischeid, who all moved from Tennessee to Charleston, S.C. to open a rib restaurant they named Sticky Fingers. They knew a good bit about cooking Memphis style-barbecue, but not much else. Over the next fifteen years, Sticky Fingers Ribhouse grew to 16 restaurants in five southeastern states and was regularly featured in local and national publications for having some of the best ribs, wings and barbecue in the country. They credited the success to the help of some incredible team members and great customers along with a focus on providing legendary service and preparing authentic, Memphis-style barbecue.

About a decade ago, the trio sold their company in order to focus on their young families. During the following 10 years, Sticky Fingers drifted away from its roots in almost every way – from the menu to the staff to the atmosphere. The company’s headquarters was moved to various cities around the Southeast that didn’t have Sticky Fingers restaurants.

At one point, it was even owned by a group of lenders. “Banks aren’t usually known for their incredible hospitality,” said Mr. Walldorf in discussing the decline of his former company. Many of Sticky’s long-time employees left as did some of their loyal customers. “It was extremely hard to watch the decline of the brand we built, the culture we helped create and the people we cared about."

Last year, Sticky Fingers Operating Partner Robert Patterson convinced Mr. Walldorf to return and help him in his efforts to turn the brand around. “After visiting some of the restaurants, I realized the Sticky spirit was still there,” Mr. Walldorf said. “The brand was somewhat tarnished but spirit was still alive amongst Robert, many long-time team members and loyal customers so I agreed to help Sticky Fingers get its mojo back.”

Going into its 25th year with a new (old) focus, a new (old) management philosophy, a new (old) home office in South Carolina and a rejuvenated spirit, Mr. Walldorf, Mr. Patterson and their team are ready to bring Sticky back. “We’ve retooled our atmosphere, our menu and our culture. It’s been like one of those restaurant make-over shows - but in real time over many months rather than just in an hour-long show. Our focus has returned to doing what we do best – providing legendary service with incredible ribs, wings and barbecue.”

In celebration of their 25th anniversary, Sticky Fingers Ribhouse will offer specials throughout the year featuring barbecue combinations you can’t find on their regular menu and highlighting their signature barbecue sauces.




Local Steak n’ Shake Franchise To Raise Approximately $200,000 Toward New Children’s Hospital By 2020

Chattanooga-based Steak n’ Shake franchise, Debo’s Diners, is donating a portion of its sales every Tuesday toward the construction of a new Children’s Hospital at Erlanger in addition to providing restaurant guests an opportunity to round up their checks every day of the week as a contribution to the campaign. The Gunbarrel, Hixson, Dalton, Fort Oglethorpe and Cleveland locations ... (click for more)

Adelle's Creperie Celebrates 1 Year Anniversary

Adelle’s Creperie celebrates its one year anniversary at 400 East Main St. on Saturday, Aug. 12, from 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.  There will be music by hammered dulcimer player, Dan Landrum, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., plus some special additions to the regular menu.   The featured food and drink specials will be Chicken and Mushroom Crepe with béchamel sauce and Peach Melba ... (click for more)

City Seeks To Be Removed As Trustee Of Confederate Cemetery

Mayor Andy Berke on Friday said he has asked City Attorney Wade Hinton, on behalf of the city of Chattanooga, to file the necessary paperwork "to confirm the city is no longer listed as a trustee of a Confederate Cemetery on East Third Street." Mayor Berke said, “Our action today makes it clear that the city of Chattanooga condemns white supremacy in every way, shape and ... (click for more)

Judy Kay Peer, 69, Killed When Train Hits Her Car At Hamill Road Crossing In Hixson

Judy Kay Peer, 69, was killed on Friday night when a train struck her car in Hixson on Friday night. Ms. Peer, a Hixson resident, was driving a 2015 Hyundai Sonata. Police said she  was traveling west on Hamill Road and had stopped at the railroad crossing. The gates were extended with flashing lights and a sounding bell. A train that was traveling northbound on ... (click for more)

Mayor Invites Civil War II - And Response (8)

I just received an email from the Mayor stating that he filed paperwork to remove the city of Chattanooga as the trustee for the Confederate Cemetery on Third Street. I understand the Mayor's intent was to distance the city from it's racist past and subsequent hate, but I feel like this is an interesting move without much thought of the consequences. The Mayor prefaced his ... (click for more)

Confronting Racism In Public Education

Like most Americans, we have been bothered by the news in recent days. And as we have struggled to understand the racial issues that continue to confront our nation, we are left to ponder the issue even more within the context of public education.  The vast majority of Americans know that racism is wrong. It is one of the few issues on which almost everyone can agree. We ... (click for more)