Our Story

The Whole Hog Cafe evolved from “a hobby that got out of hand.” When Whole Hog founders Mike “Sarge” Davis, Ron Blasingame, and Steve Lucchi entered the 2000 Memphis-in-May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, they knew their rib recipe was something special. Apparently, the judges agreed, and their team – appropriately named “The Southern Gentlemen’s Culinary Society” — took home a 2nd place trophy that year. Two years later, they were back on top – this time with two competition teams. The “Whole Hog Cafe” team took another 2nd Place in the ‘Ribs’ category, and the “Southern Gentlemen” came out as World Champions, winning 1st Place in the ‘Whole Hog’ division.

Having seen so much success on the competition barbecue circuit, the Southern Gentlemen decided to see if anybody would buy their barbecue, and so they set up a small concession trailer in a parking lot in their hometown of Little Rock, Arkansas. The venture was an instant success, giving Ron, Sarge, and Steve the confidence to take a giant leap and open The Whole Hog Cafe. Almost immediately, Whole Hog was a Little Rock favorite, serving its now famous ribs, pulled pork, brisket, and chicken, as well as Whole Hog specialties such as the Loaded Baked Potato, Smoked Sausage, and the ever-popular Whole Hog Cafe Potato Salad!