King George’s

4809 South State Street

Here is the big thrill in the Blackbelt.  King George (Mr. William Hale Thompson* please note), is none other than the eminent Mr. George Oglesby, the barbecue king, who learned how to cook barbecue meat in the hills of Tennessee.  Theatrical people, diners-out from the Loop, politicians, and policemen from the various Blackbelt police stations come to King George’s Southern Barbecue Inn at all hours of the night and day for the delicious and wholly satisfying barbecue sandwiches that he serves.  His place is a dingy one-story nondescript shack, in a neighborhood of shacks, but it houses the first and only authentic barbecue pit in town.  It is a large brick fireplace, taking up half the space, and here you see chickens, pork, beef, and other meats being broiled in the leaping flames.  White visitors stand about, eating the sandwiches; colored customers are at the counters; a negro youth plays a piano all night long; cooks are chopping up chickens with hatchets; the atmosphere is gay and bohemian and everybody laughs at King George’s sallies and wise-cracks.  The sandwiches are 25 cents.  You may also call up and have King George’s dishes delivered to your home anywhere in the city.  Southern catfish is also served here.  Don’t miss this place.  The meats are clean and served under sanitary conditions.  Drexel 3223.

* “Big Bill” Thompson, one of Chicago’s most colorful and corrupt mayors. Rick Kogan’s Sidewalks did a great piece on Big Bill’s grave.

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