PEARLAND, TX (KTRK) --What was once Pearland's first school cafeteria in the 1950's is today one of the most popular BBQ restaurants in the nation.
For Owner and Executive Chef Ronnie Killen, it's personal.
"The building has history. It means something to me," Ronnie said. "And it means something to the people of Pearland."
Ronnie a native Texan, was born in Victoria and his family moved to Pearland when he was in the third grade.
Killen's BBQ is directly across the street from his old high school, now Pearland Junior High. He remembers his senior year in high school working as a student aid in the administrative office (where his brick pit now sits) gluing pads of detention and hall passes for teachers.
Because of the history, Ronnie says tearing down the building was not an option. Instead he chose to incorporate his childhood memories into the restaurant. From the original beams to the stainless steel cafeteria line, the entire restaurant has a 1950's school cafeteria-style cool design.
The walls a covered with black and white photos of Pearland students in the 50's and 60's at the original school cafeteria.
Killen's BBQ first opened its doors to a long line of enthusiastic meat-lover's in February 2014, and there's been long lines of customers ever since.
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RECIPE: Killen's Bone-in ribeye
RECIPE: Killen's famous brisket