Celebrating 33 Years of Authentic Southern Barbecue at Red Hot & Blue

Mar 8, 2024 | News

For over three decades, Red Hot & Blue has been a beacon for barbecue enthusiasts seeking the authentic taste of Southern-style smoked meats. Since its inception in Arlington, Virginia, in 1988, Red Hot & Blue has expanded its footprint, bringing its unique blend of flavors and blues music to multiple locations across the United States.

The Birth of a BBQ Legacy

The journey of Red Hot & Blue began with a group of friends united by their love for two American classics: barbecue and blues music. Disappointed by the lack of options in the Washington D.C. metro area that catered to their tastes, they embarked on a mission to create a dining experience that married these two cultural staples. Drawing inspiration from the iconic WHBQ-AM radio show “Red Hot & Blue,” hosted by DJ Dewey Phillips in the 1950s, the restaurant pays homage to a musical era that introduced legends like Elvis Presley and B.B. King to the world.

A Feast for the Senses

At Red Hot & Blue, the experience is about more than just food; it’s about transporting guests to a bygone era where the rhythm and blues set the tone for a memorable dining experience. With carefully curated playlists, environmental designs, and memorabilia, every corner of our restaurants tells a story of the profound impact of blues on American culture. Our commitment to this legacy extends beyond the decor, as we regularly host live music events featuring local blues and jazz musicians, creating a truly one-of-a-kind atmosphere.

A Testament to Quality and Tradition

Our barbecue’s reputation is built on a foundation of quality and authenticity. In the early days, our pioneering pitmaster, Sonny McKnight, would go to great lengths to ensure our meats were perfectly smoked, even if it meant evading local health regulations. This dedication has paid off, earning us accolades such as “top BBQ chain in the country” and “Best BBQ” in multiple prestigious polls and magazines.

Our Barbecue Philosophy

At Red Hot & Blue, we embrace the diverse traditions of Southern barbecue, from the vinegar-based sauces of the Carolinas to the rich, tomato-based flavors of Memphis. Our menu is a testament to this diversity, offering everything from ribs and brisket to sausage and turkey, all smoked over hickory logs for that authentic, slow-cooked taste. Complementing our meats are our signature sauces, and a range of sides embody Southern cuisine’s soul.

Annapolis: A City Steeped in History

Our Annapolis location connects us to a city rich in American history and maritime tradition. Just as Annapolis serves as a bridge between the past and present, Red Hot & Blue links traditional Southern barbecue with modern dining experiences. Located conveniently near Baltimore and Washington D.C., our Annapolis restaurant offers a unique blend of history, culture, and culinary excellence.

Join Us on Our Journey

As we reflect on 33 years of Red Hot & Blue, we’re grateful for the journey that has brought us here and the countless guests who have become part of our story. Whether you’re a longtime fan or new to our family, we invite you to experience the warmth, flavor, and rhythm that make Red Hot & Blue a destination for those who appreciate the finer things in life: great food, great music, and great company.