Experience the Old South Firsthand
A truly one-of-a-kind venue, Lone Star BBQ & Mercantile is the realization of the long-time dream of local businessman, Pat Williams. Conceived as place where locals could enjoy dishes that might have been served on their grandmother's table, and visitors from further away could get a taste of authentic southern cuisine, Lone Star is at once a restaurant, museum and gathering space for local musicians. Seeing it as his mission that "When people walk through the doors at Lone Star, I want them to feel like they are going back in time", Mr. Pat and his family have breathed new life into four nearly forgotten buildings, reminding visitors of simpler times and simpler pleasures.
When you enter the doors at Lone Star, you'll feel like you stepped into a time warp, to when the hub of activities in the Old South revolved around small rural churches and old country stores. It was in these settings, more than any others, where locals shared the latest news and events and caught up with old friends.
Dating back to as early as 1876, the four buildings that comprise Lone Star are stocked full of museum-quality antiques, many of which were found just as they remain in the old buildings at the time they were acquired and moved to the present location. Original counters and showcases can still be found brimming with merchandise dating back to the Great Depression, when mules and wagons and steam locomotives represented the primary modes of transportation.
Scroll to the bottom of the page for a brief history of each building.
The main building, or the first store you'll encounter, represents the mercantile part of Lone Star Barbecue & Mercantile. Filled with antiques, collectibles, souvenir items and children's toys, all of which are either true relics of days gone by, or inspired by the same. There are tops, cap pistols, hand puppets, sheriff's badges, marbles, bandanas, Raggedy Ann dolls, trains, engineer caps, and more... either for the child in your life or the one in your own heart.
You'll also find an authentic Wooden Indian and an antique Royal Crown Cola drink box... filled with Nehi orange, grape, and peach drinks, and of course, R.C. Colas. Naturally, the Moon Pies are right at home next to the R.C. Cola drink box! A vintage Coca-Cola drink box sits nearby, loaded with hard-to-find six ounce Coca-Colas in glass bottles.
Further in, you'll encounter the original 40-box U.S. Post Office that was tucked into the corner of Zeagler's General Store and served the original Lone Star community about 15 miles from their present site. Of note, there were numerous attempts made over the years by the U.S. Postal Authority to close the small, antiquated operation, but with no success. In fact, the Post Mistress was a close friend of the late Sen. Strom Thurmond... and as is well known, the Senator always took care of his friends! The post office remained in full operation until 1995, just two years before Zeagler's General Store closed its doors for good.
To the rear of the main buildings, you'll find a courtyard featuring an old whiskey still, a smoke house for curing meats, and an outhouse or "privy" as it was known. In days passed, they each served a daily need; today, they make for a pretty excellent backdrop for all the pictures you can take!
Today, Lone Star delivers that same sense of community, for locals and visitors alike. We've added a few enhancements along the way though... Gather around with friends and family to the sounds of live bluegrass or country music entertainment virtually every Saturday night... occasionally, you might even happen upon a gospel choir following up their local services with an impromptu concert for our patrons. And don't miss out on full-blown country and bluegrass festivals every Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend.
Be sure not to miss these important highlights during your visit!
Truly, you will find nothing like the Lone Star experience no matter where you look.