SoCal Savory

A BBQ Classic Lands in Porter Ranch

Gus's Barbecue, which began in South Pasadena almost 75 years ago, is one of Southern California's most history-rich restaurants.

Gus's Barbecue

What to Know

  • The Vineyards in Porter Ranch
  • Now open
  • Classic Gus's Barbecue dishes include Cast Iron Cornbread and St. Louis Spare Ribs

Drive along Fair Oaks in the heart of South Pasadena and you'll soon pass a neon sign, the sort of sign that wasn't erected yesterday, last week, last year, or even in recent memory.

It's the iconic sign for Gus's Barbecue, a rib-rich, brisket-hearty joint that first opened in 1946 (and, yep, if you recall that Hamburger Mac's once stood there, then you know your SoCal stuff).

You surely also know that Gus's was started by three family members (yep, one was named Gus) and that it has its roots in Cleveland, and that it drew inspiration from a number of great barbecue eateries found along Route 66.

And you know it is a savory institution 'round our region.

Sometimes institutions expand, and Gus's Barbecue has in the past. There's a location in Claremont, in addition to South Pasadena, while the newest Gus's debuted on Feb. 8, 2020 at The Vineyards in Porter Ranch.

Will this Gus's still serve that famous Cast Iron Cornbread that the original and second location are known for?

It would be unthinkable not to have it on the menu. Other favorites will be front-and-centered, including Smokehouse Chili, St. Louis Spare Ribs, and Smoky Guacamole.

Craft beers, wines, and cocktails are also part of the Porter Ranch venue, and there's a brand-new sip to celebrate the new location: The Porter Ranch Sour, which includes Gus's Private Reserve Bourbon.

As for a sign that this just-opened Gus's is in the historic swing of things? Here's a sign: The decor includes an ode to the barbecue eatery's vintage cred with a giant, old-school sign that runs along the ceiling.

Porter Ranchers, have you been craving Southern-style comfort foot, all while planning a trek to South Pasadena or Claremont? The ribs, root beer floats, and mac 'n cheese can now be found much closer to home, thanks to the arrival of this Southern-California-meets-Southern-suppers superstar.

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