A Tradition of Deliciousness
Chester’s Barbeque is a family-owned business that has been serving customers since 1930. Our restaurant is currently run by Trenton & Toya Chester, and we remain as committed as ever to provide the most delicious barbeque dishes to customers in Columbus, Georgia and other areas. Contact us to learn more.
Spotlight on Chester’s Grocery and Bar-B-Que
In 1939, a farmer named Jack Chester opened a small store on St. Mary’s Road, near Ft. Benning, GA. The store was named Jack Chester’s Grocery. After purchasing most of the land on Dawson Drive (Northstar Drive) in 1944, the family moved and so did the store.
The store was originally located on the west side of Dawson Drive and later moved to it’s present location. A few changes in the structure of the building took place and it became “Mr. Jack’s” grocery store. Jack died in 1968. His son Edward and his wife, Alberta managed the business for a short while. In 1971, Jack’s sister, Willie Rutledge, and her husband, Dock Rutledge, managed the business, until their health began to decline.
With the neighborhood growing and still seeing a need to continue on, Jack’s son, Ernest, and grandson, Alfred (Ernest’s son) wanted a chance to share in the experience. In 1972, John Henry (Johnny) Chester, Jack’s grandson, with his knowledge and business experience, managed the store. More changes were made and additional grocery items were added to the store.
Because of Johnny’s fulltime job as a truck driver at McKesson Drug Co. and also due to working long hours, his sister, Carolyn (Cal) Thornton saw that he needed help. In 1979, Cal stopped working at Dawson Elementary School and became a partner with her brother.
One day while sitting around the store, Cal decided to barbecue some ribs for the family. People passing by and customers thought those ribs were for sale...and the rest is history. Rib sandwiches sold for $2.00. One barbecue grill is all that was used at that time. The grocery and barbecue business grew larger and remodeling and improvements continued to be made to accommodate the patrons, and of course, more grills were added.
In 1996, Johnny passed and Cal’s son, Trenton (Trent) M. Chester, stepped on board. Because of his enthusiasm and eagerness to try something different, Trent resigned from his position at W.C. Bradley Co. He now owns and operates the business with his mom, wife, and family by his side. Business has continued to grow and Chester’s Grocery became Chester’s Grocery and Bar-B-Que in 2001.
In early, 2003, Trent and his uncle, David Chester, thought the business needed to expand. With that in mind, the two of them opened Chester’s Bar-B-Que in Uptown Columbus at 547 Veterans Parkway in July of 2003. Although David passed shortly after the opening of their second location, Trent is continuing on and recently opened Chester’s Bar-B-Que in Phenix City, AL at 270 Highway 165 in September of 2011.
They have the 5th generation of Chester’s working in the business and they have 15 employees. There mission statement is to provide the best food at the best price with the best service.
Chester’s Bar-B-Que was awarded the People’s Choice Award in 2004 for the Best Bar-B-Que in town. In 2007, Chester’s BBQ also won the Steve Harvey Hoodie Awards Best BBQ category. Since opening, they have been rated 100% in inspection by the Columbus Health Department. Between the three stores, they sell over 250,000 pounds of ribs a year.
Chester’s also serves the community by furnishing food for remote broadcasts held by our local radio stations. Chester’s serves customers from near and far and they also have Catering by Chester’s. They thank you for your patronage and look forward to continuing to serve you.
Meet Trenton Chester
Trenton Chester is one of Columbus most successful upcoming business owners. He is one of four children born and raised here in Columbus, Georgia. Chester’s Grocery and Barbeque is now owed-and -managed by the fourth generation.
Mr. Chester is a 1989 graduate of Kendrick High School. He later attended Columbus Technical Institute.
Mr. Chester served 14 years in the Air Force Reserve. Currently he is a member of the local school council of Wesley Heights Elementary and Dawson Drive Community Action Project. Mr. Chester is a member of St. James CME Church where he serves as a steward board member and assistant church treasurer.
Mr. Chester is married to Toya Chester. They have two children – Patrice and T.J.
Mr. Chester is known for his outstanding leadership, helping others, and giving back to his community.