Check’s BBQ & Blues — a comforting blend of two neighborhood dives

Check’s Café: In 1944, Joe Murrow purchased a little bar in Louisville’s Germantown neighborhood called Check’s Café, named after the original owner, Check Sumpter. Originally functioning solely as a bar, Joe gradually added food to the menu using his wife’s recipes. Two generations later, Joe’s grandson, John Murrow, now owns the family business and her recipes (particularly her chili and bean soup) arestill driving customers in the door. Some expansions and cosmetic updates have been made over the years, but the classic food and fun, friendly neighborhood vibe have barely been altered.

Scotty’s Ribs & More/Big Bubba’s Bub-Ba-Que: 15 years ago, Hal Stainback started using the name Big Bubba’s Bub-Ba-Que to sell smoked, slow-cooked pork and ribs out of his homemade barbecue pit. He also made special bean and barbecue sauces that were prepared and stirred by hand with a large wooden paddle that still hangs on the wall of the restaurant today. In order to keep the business alive, he passed on his signature recipes and cooking techniques to Scotty opened a restaurant under the name of Scotty’s Ribs & More to continue sharing Hal’s food with the people of Louisville.

In late 2017, John Murrow, along with his business partner Todd Zaborac (who was born and raised in the barbecue capital of Kentucky — Owensboro), purchased Scotty‘s business and began the process of remodeling the old restaurant. Now, it has reopened as a blend of the two different neighborhood watering holes. They have managed to take some of the staples from Check’s. Café’s menu (such as the chili and fish sandwich) and merge them with the time-tested barbecue flavors of Scotty’s to form what is now known as Check’s BBQ & Blues.