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.



Cambridge Square To Host Chattanooga’s First Sanctioned World Food Championship With The Ooltewah BBQ Brawl

Cambridge Square and de-facto Ooltewah Mayor and local business owner Steve Ray, have teamed-up to host Chattanooga’s first sanctioned World Food Championship. Branded the Ooltewah BBQ Brawl (The Brawl), the event will take place on April 15 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission to the event is free of charge. Cambridge Square is a mixed-use community located less than a quarter mile ... (click for more)

Chicken Salad Chick Foundation Presents Donation Check To Chattanooga Area Food Bank

The Chattanooga Area Food Bank announced that on Friday, Josh Patton, the area franchise owner of Chicken Salad Chick, presented a donation check to the Chattanooga Area Food Bank for $3,143.60. This total equates to 12,574 meals that the Chattanooga Area Food Bank can provide to hungry neighbors in the area. The money for this donation was raised by the Chicken Salad Chick ... (click for more)

Storm Costs EPB $2.5 Million; Smart Grid Helped Ease The Pain

Tuesday night's fierce storm cost EPB an estimated $2.5 million, President David Wade said Friday. He said the city utility will have to bear all the cost - unlike when it got federal aid after spending $18 million following tornadoes that raked the Chattanooga area in 2012. Mr. Wade said EPB's Smart Grid helped ease the pain, bringing back online about 27,000 affected customers ... (click for more)

1 Killed, 1 Injured In Brainerd Shooting

One person was killed and a second person injured in a shooting in Brainerd on Thursday night. The call was to 3301 Pinewood Ave. at 7:05 p.m. It was reported that a silver vehicle was seen leaving the scene. One of the persons shot, 23-year-old Antonio Baldwin, died during surgery. The injury to William Daniel, 21, is not life-threatening. Police said both of the ... (click for more)

Slaxxon Regret

Back in the seventies my three oldest brothers had a buddy named Steve Slack. “Slack” was a star soccer player at Baylor and he grew up on Lookout Mountain, which is where I grew up. He and Jimmy, Henry and Bill went to the University of Virginia where they were roommates in an old, beat up house that was painted pink. Naturally, the place became known as the “Pink Palace” but lest ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Scottsboro Boys

There is a good-sized train tunnel that runs under the northern tip of Lookout Mountain, right next to Cummings Highway. It was inside that tunnel on this very weekend 86 years ago, that the worst tragedy in the fabled history of the South was born. This was during the tight grip of the Depression and about two dozen hobos had jumped the train from the time it left Southern Railway's ... (click for more)