“These beans are so good!”
“These ribs are delicious.”
“Who ate all of the okra?”
Those are some quotes in the Shelton house tonight.
Apparently we lucked out by grabbing take-out from DJ’s BBQ on its first day of business before the dinner rush. We also got in there after the lunch rush when co-owner Michelle Jeffries said they served about 60 folks before 1pm.
It’s a good day for DJ’s BBQ. It’s also a sentimental day. Long-time Luther residents remember Don Jeffries and the family business, DJ’s Barbecue, that was down Hwy 66 at Indian Meridian where The Boundary restaurant is currently. They remember the ribs, the beans, the brisket, the bikers and the fun.
DJ’s closed after a car drove through the building several years ago. Then nine years ago, Don lost his life in a car wreck.
Billy felt the presence of his dad on opening day, as he was dragging a cooler, absentmindedly wondering where a lock was he had for the smokehouse. The lock was randomly there in the cooler. “I know he’s looking out for me,” said Billy, DJ’s owner. He is using his dad’s recipes and the same smoker.
Michelle said it wasn’t very long ago when she and Billy were driving to Edmond when she proposed opening a restaurant. They didn’t even need to discuss what sort of restaurant it would be. It was time to bring DJ’s back. They powered through the remodel of the Sugar Shaker building, got the licenses (including beer), the health department inspection, bought the inventory, made the menus, business cards and signs – plus accomplished all of the other tasks to open a new restaurant. They hit their goal of a March 1 opening. Sleep? “What is that,” Michelle laughed today.
Even Billy’s sister, Mandy, was comforted today. “It makes me miss my dad less even though I miss him so much everyday. If that makes sense, because he is here with us. This place is something HE would do.”
Billy’s mom, Debi, is proud of Billy and Michelle, for making this dream happen. “They have worked so hard. I know they will do well,” she said and recalls how she and Billy ran DJ’s back in the day, when Don maintained his full-time job.
Even though Michelle said she made sheet-cake after sheet-cake in those days, fried fruit pies are on the dessert menu now. That gives her more time to make the sides: beans, slaw and potato salad.
Staffed with family and friends, Debi said their long hours at DJ’s will just provide more family time. Those family and friends chipped in on the long days spent remodeling the place, bringing Billy’s vision to life with a custom bar that features vintage pictures of Don and others, boat chairs and a rustic vibe and comfortable feel throughout the dining space.
DJ’s is back. I bought the family pack featuring ribs, a couple of sides, sauce and bread, thinking my family would eat while I wrote up this story. But now I have to do laundry because someone got barbecue sauce on his shirt AND pants. You know it’s good when you dribble.
It’s #lutherlocal. Welcome back DJ’s.