We're Open


'It's all in the prep': Son carries on father's business with Ashley's Bar-B-Que

Posted at 9:39 PM, Apr 15, 2020

MILWAUKEE — Back in 1961, Thomas Ashley Jr. quit his day job, borrowed 350 dollars from friends, and opened up Ashley's Bar-B-Que. His son, Darnell, carries on the tradition to this day.

"My dad didn't have enough money," Darnell says. "He used to work at AO Smith. Some friends said they loved his food - he used to cook all the time on the weekends - so they helped him put it together. This was the second place he bought."

Darnell, who worked for his late dad when he was young, puts in the long hours to make sure their smoked barbecue is a true experience for everyone. So what makes his barbecue so special?

"This pit first and foremost," says Darnell. "It's been back here since the '60s. My dad built it himself. You can't beat that flavor, the seasonings that we put on the meat. We do a dry rub, we marinate it, and when you cook it for five and six hours in this pit, you can't beat it."

Report a typo or error // Submit a news tip