Brooks’ House of BBQ
5560 State Highway 7, Oneonta, NY
Owners: Beth and Ryan Brooks
Brooks’ began in 1912, when John McClelland and his wife founded a chicken farm in upstate New York. A catering business followed, then a drive-in, and then, in 1961, Brooks’ BBQ. Their grandson is at the helm today. The rust-and- toffee interior features rooster-print wallpaper, a scalloped lunch counter, and state-themed paper place mats that detail the entirety of the “Brooks’ BBQ Campus.” The complex includes a banquet center, a gift store, a children’s park, a picnic area, and a sauce-bottling plant. Cooked on a 38-foot indoor charcoal pit, the barbecue chicken emerges with blistered skin and backyard flavor that goes bone-deep. A spiced apple ring, dyed deep garnet, tops each bird. Set on a back road that cuts into the Catskills, Brooks’ is a memory-making place for families driving to and from the mountains.
The America's Classic award is given to restaurants with timeless appeal, each beloved in its region for quality food that reflects the character of its community. Establishments must have been in existence for at least ten years and be locally owned.
Learn more about the 2016 James Beard Awards.