The Evolution of How Gram’s Mission BBQ Became Gram’s BBQ

Sep 8, 2023 | BBQ History & Culture

Hey Riverside fam, gather ’round! We’ve got a tale to tell, and it’s one that’s as smoky and flavorful as our BBQ. Ever wondered why we’re called Gram’s BBQ now instead of Gram’s Mission BBQ? Well, sit tight, ’cause we’re about to spill the sauce! 🍖

The Dice Roll Heard ‘Round Riverside

Let’s take it back to 1987. Our founder, Robert Bratton, won this restaurant in a dice game. Yep, you heard that right—a dice game! Talk about a roll of fate, huh? Robert decided to serve up his family’s Southern recipes, the ones passed down from his Gram…ma. And so, Gram’s Mission BBQ was born, right across the street from the iconic Mission Inn in downtown Riverside.

The Mission Inn Makeover

Fast forward a bit, and the Mission Inn got itself a fancy new owner and a swanky refurbishment. But guess what? They weren’t too keen on having our smoker puffin’ away in front of their shiny new facade. So, they got the city to give us the ol’ heave-ho off Mission Inn Blvd.

A New Chapter on Main Street

But hey, when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade—or in our case, a mean BBQ sauce. We moved on over to Main Street, right kitty-corner to the Riverside Convention Center. And you know what? We love it here!

Benita grams bbq

A Name with a New Flavor

Since we were no longer on Mission Inn Blvd, and because we wanted to put the spotlight on the Bratton Family Recipes, we decided it was time for a little name trim. So, Gram’s Mission BBQ got a fresh cut and became the Gram’s BBQ you know and love today.

The Legacy Lives On

The name may have changed, but the soul of this place? That’s eternal. It’s in every rib, every chicken wing, and every bowl of collard greens we serve. It’s in the smiles of our staff and the satisfaction of our customers.


What’s Cookin’ Next?

So what’s next for Gram’s BBQ? Well, let’s just say we’ve got some smokin’ plans that’ll make your taste buds do a happy dance. Stay tuned!

pork rib tip dinner