Discover the Rich Heritage and Delectable BBQ of Red Hot & Blue

Jun 12, 2024 | Annapolis, News

Red Hot & Blue has been a beloved staple in the culinary landscape for over three decades, offering a unique fusion of BBQ and blues music. Our story began in 1988 when a group of friends in Arlington, Virginia, united by their passion for BBQ and blues, decided to open a restaurant that embodied both. With multiple locations now thriving across the country, Red Hot & Blue continues to bring its distinctive flavor and ambiance to BBQ enthusiasts everywhere.

A Name Steeped in Musical History

The name Red Hot & Blue is more than just a catchy moniker; it’s a nod to the legendary DJ Dewey Phillip’s radio show from the 1950s, which aired on WHBQ-AM in Memphis, Tennessee. Dewey Phillips was instrumental in bringing rock and roll to the masses, introducing the world to icons like Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash. His show also broadened the audience for blues legends such as B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Robert Cray, and Rufus Thomas. At Red Hot & Blue, we celebrate this rich musical heritage by playing classic and contemporary rhythm and blues, creating an atmosphere that transports guests back to that vibrant era.

The Evolution of Our BBQ Tradition

Our journey began humbly with a single outdoor smoker. In those early days, the Alexandria County Health Department’s regulations led to some creative solutions to keep the smoke and delicious aromas going. Pitmaster Sonny McKnight, our first employee, recalls his lengths, including loading the portable smoker onto his truck and driving for hours to ensure our meats were cooked to perfection without interruptions.

Commitment to Excellence

Over the years, our dedication to quality has not gone unnoticed. Red Hot & Blue has been recognized as the “top BBQ chain in the country” by a significant national consumer magazine. It has garnered accolades such as “Best BBQ” in the Washington Post Reader’s Poll, Northern Virginia’s Washingtonian Magazine, and Dallas’s AOL City Search. In 2015, a national consumer magazine named us one of its seven quick picks for “good food at a good price,” highlighting our commitment to offering exceptional food at an affordable price.

A Diverse and Flavorful Menu

Red Hot & Blue offers a wide variety of smoked meats, including ribs, pork, chicken, brisket, sausage, wings, turkey, and brisket burnt ends. Our four signature barbecue sauces—Smokin’ Hot, Carolina Vinegar, Sufferin’ Sweet, and Mojo Mild—cater to all taste preferences, from tangy to sweet and everything in between.

Our BBQ style is a tribute to the diverse culinary traditions of the southern United States, incorporating influences from the Carolinas, Texas, Memphis, and Kansas City. We use only the freshest meats and produce, slow-cooked over hickory logs at low temperatures to achieve that melt-in-your-mouth texture our guests love.

Satisfying Sides and Delightful Desserts

Our menu goes beyond smoked meats, offering a range of hot and cold sides, salads, and potatoes. Fan favorites include our creamy Potato Salad, gooey Mac’ N Cheese, and tangy BBQ Baked Beans. Our fresh banana pudding is a crowd-pleaser for dessert, and we always have sweet tea and lemonade on tap to complement your meal.

Celebrating Blues Culture

In keeping with our musical roots, Red Hot & Blue regularly hosts live music events on our outdoor patio and dining areas. We feature local blues and jazz musicians, creating an unforgettable experience for our guests and celebrating the profound impact of blues on American culture.

Our Annapolis, MD Location

Nestled in Maryland’s capital, our Annapolis location offers more than just a great BBQ. Annapolis, known for its historic district and scenic waterfront, is steeped in history. The city is a living museum of American heritage, from the 18th-century brick houses to the domed Maryland State House.

Originally called “Providence” by the Puritans, Annapolis was later named “Anne Arundel’s Towne” before being renamed to honor Princess Anne, heir to the throne, by Royal Governor Sir Francis Nicholson. The city’s rich history is reflected in landmarks like St. Anne’s Episcopal Church and the United States Naval Academy, making it a vibrant and culturally significant place to visit.

A Convenient Location for Commuters

Annapolis is ideally situated for commuters, just a 40-minute drive from Baltimore and Washington, D.C. With a population of 40,812 as of the 2020 census, the city offers a perfect blend of small-town charm and big-city accessibility.

Visit Us Today

Whether you’re a resident or a visitor exploring the historic charm of Annapolis, Red Hot & Blue promises a dining experience like no other. Come for the mouthwatering BBQ, stay for the blues, and become a part of our storied tradition. We look forward to welcoming you to Red Hot & Blue, where the past and present converge in a celebration of great food and music.