Pop's BBQ has new owner

Shown is owner Carlos Glen at Pop's BBQ in Charleston on Wednesday.


CHARLESTON -- Pop’s Hometown BBQ has re-opened with new management and a new menu.

Carlos Glen has taken over the bright red BBQ shack located at 302 Madison Ave. that was closed a couple of years ago adding his rustic flavors to the business’s origins.

A recent graduate of Eastern Illinois University, Glen said he was immediately looking to find his own space for a restaurant. In his search, he came upon Pop’s BBQ that was closed. After several meetings with the original owner, Ron Sterns, he took over ownership of the restaurant and re-opened the barbecue place June 1.

“It was a stroke of luck,” Glen said.

Glen said he has always been a “foodie,” and that the restaurant has become his outlet to experiment and try out different types of flavors pulling from his experiences working at various kinds of restaurants and from Sterns' original recipes.

“I try to mix and master like a mad scientist. I will get different meats and different foods, and I will add different seasonings,” Glen said.

All of the sauces are made in-house, developed from Sterns previous recipes, which he had accumulated over the years, as well as some of Glen’s own experiments.

“These recipes have been passed down from people Ron has met over his life and built his recipe book up,” Glen said. “He gave me a few sample pages out of his recipe book, and he gave me the freedom to fly myself.”

While keeping some of the barbecue house’s signature items like the redneck nachos, which include nacho chips, baked beans, pulled pork, barbecue sauce and coleslaw, he has also introduced some foods he grew up loving like rib tips as well as sauces he loves like Jamaican jerk sauce.

What he would consider his “baby,” though, is his take on a staple, his brisket.

“I pamper the brisket. No one cuts the brisket but me,” Glen said.

Glen said with his menu, he has tried to retain some of the old recipes while adding different twists into the mix.

“It is kinda like a collaboration of both old and new,” he said. “(Ron’s) techniques work, and I also try to come up with something that will appeal to the new generation to keep them into barbecue. You don't really see many barbecue houses anymore.”

In the month since his grand opening, he said he received a lot of good reception from locals about his menu, which has motivated him to develop and fine-tune his menu.

Pop’s Hometown BBQ has pulled pork, brisket, pork chop meats and sandwiches, chicken wings, ribs, chicken, with choices of in-house sauces and sides. Pop’s Hometown BBQ offers delivery, carryout and catering.

Customers can call in for orders as well as check in on their daily specials at 217-348-5227.



Jarad Jarmon is a reporter for the JG-TC. He covers the city of Charleston, Eastern Illinois University, Mattoon schools and the Regional Office of Education.

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