Written by Christopher Binns
My wife and I went to Clearview BBQ around 12:30PM on Saturday, December 31, 2016. We wanted to get a good BBQ meal before watching college football, and enjoying the New Year’s Eve festivities.
The parking lot was full, as usual.
There is always a line to order food, which is a good sign. I thought there would be less people due to the holiday, but there were just as many people waiting in line as there is during the week for lunch.
There are three areas to sit: a large main room in the front, a couple booths next to the line, and a back area behind the kitchen. When someone unfamiliar with the restaurant first walks in, they may be concerned there isn’t anywhere to sit but there are plenty of places to find a seat.
I ordered the large pork plate with baked beans & Brunswick stew for $7.45.
My wife ordered a regular chopped pork sandwich for $2.25.
To-Go, I ordered a Q-Tater, which is a baked potato with chopped BBQ pork meat on top for $4.75.
The restaurant is owned by Missi Jones & Bill McLemore. Bill is Missi’s father, and they have jointly owned/operated the restaurant since 2000. They have 7 total employees, two of which have been employed by the owners for over 13 years.
When I asked Missi what is the one thing that has helped her business over the years, she said the great employees that she and Bill had the chance to work with. Missi also stated that at one time, the building used to be a gas station.
I’m giving it the following grades on 1-10 basis:
The building and parking lot are easily accessible from River Road. The parking lot is dirt gravel and there are places to park on the street next to the restaurant if needed. Outside, the sign near River road is bright and easy to see. The décor inside reminds one of a southern grandparent’s home, or a Cracker Barrel restaurant, lots of country crafts. There are plenty of booths and tables to sit in the front, side and back. They have won many Ledger-Enquirer awards over the years, and they are on display all over the restaurant. They have the radio tuned to a local country station and play it on speakers hanging all over the restaurant- something that none of the previous BBQ restaurants I’ve eaten at do, and I think it’s a nice touch.
Friendliness of Staff: 9.0
The staff work in the kitchen and the pit, and there is one employee that brings the orders from the kitchen to the lobby for customers to pick up. Everything is self-serve and there are no waiters/waitresses that come to your table. The only interaction that you’ll have with any of the restaurant’s employees is the order taker, and the person that calls your name with your order when it’s ready. With as many people that cram in the place, and the small rooms, it make perfect sense to do it like that. Overall, the staff is very nice, and the owner was very pleased to tell the story of the restaurant.
Menu variety, meat choices and taste of meat: 9.5
The menu is thorough, simple and easy to read. Not too much and not too little. Very similar to many of the smaller BBQ restaurants in Columbus/PC area. The meat tasted exceptional, although we only ordered chopped pork.
Three choices: Mild, Medium (Mustard based) & Hot. All three are great, and the Hot is not over the top…
Not the cleanest of places to eat, but with food this good, you don’t really notice…
Wait Time: 5.5
The longest wait time for any BBQ restaurant in the area. There has been a line of at least 10-15 people EVERY time I’ve been here. If you’re on a one hour lunch, you better eat fast, because the wait time for the line can go for almost 15 minutes.
Ease of paying: 5.5
Pay at the counter when you order. They only take cash and checks.
Clearview has been rated by locals and the local newspaper’s critic’s choice awards as one of the best BBQ restaurants in the Valley area. I agree with this. The meat and sauces are some of the best I’ve had.
The wait time, plus the cash and check only policy are the only issues. I asked the owner if expansion or another location is something that they are working for in the future, and she said, “Not at the present time.”
Clearview is a great place to get good BBQ, just plan on having cash, and a longer than normal lunch hour. Regardless, I will continue to frequent here.
They have different hours for the summertime:
M-F: 10:30-8:00PM, Sat: 10:00-7:00PM
All the other seasons are:
M-Thu: 10:30-7PM, Friday: 10:30-8:00PM, Sat: 10:00-7:00PM
They are not open on Sundays.
Written by Christopher Binns