With four locations in Greenville and one within walking distance of the University, Bucky’s Bar-B-Q has become a go-to barbecue place for Greenvillians and BJU students alike.
But for as much as Bucky’s has become a mainstay in the Greenville area, the successful barbecue chain almost never existed at all.
It took the founder, Wayne Preston, nearly going bankrupt and almost getting arrested before Bucky’s could become what it is today.
Preston, a Christian, seemed to have life all figured out a few years prior to opening Bucky’s.
He owned a successful metal fabrication and woodworking business.
But in the middle of this success, things started to turn south for Preston.
He explains in his personal testimony on the company’s website:
“My business failed, my family was coming apart, and I felt all alone even though I was in church two to three times a week,” Preston writes.
“I was trusting Wayne instead of trusting Christ! I lost everything I had. Business, home, cars, retirement account, everything was gone. I was broke. I began to search for help.”
Thankfully for the barbecue lovers of Greenville, Wayne’s personal journey would have delicious results.
With few other options on the table and mounting debt, Preston, the son of a meat packer, decided to give the restaurant business a try.
In 1999 Preston began selling barbecue out of truck on the side of the road, for which he was almost arrested and shut down by health officials.
But through monetary support from his church, Preston stayed on his feet and was able to build Bucky’s into what it is today.
Like all good barbecue restaurants, Bucky’s has a simple and straightforward menu offering a combination of meat (smoked pork, chicken or ribs) with a traditional Southern side such as baked beans, coleslaw or the ever popular sweet potato crunch.
The basic combo (a meat and two sides) starts at $7.95 and, with larger portions and combinations, goes all the way up to $10.55 for a rib plate.
A 10 percent discount is available for university students who show their ID card.
“I love all their food,” said Daniel Imai, a senior business administration major. “Especially on Friday nights, because they have all you can eat ribs, which are great.”
“Every time I go to Bucky’s, the food and the service are really good,” Daniel Fulde, a junior computer science major, said.
Each Bucky’s offers a no frills, down-to-earth environment with friendly service.
Jeremy Simmons, a nine-year employee of Bucky’s, shared the high personal standards he maintains while working and what he thinks makes his barbeque restaurant stand out from all the others in Greenville.
“I make it policy to never serve a customer food that I wouldn’t serve my own mother,” Simmons said.
Simmons admits he might be a little biased towards Bucky’s.
Despite being born and raised in Greenville, Bucky’s is the only barbecue restaurant he’s ever eaten at.
But Simmons says he can personally attest to the quality with which the meat is prepared.
“I’ve been involved in making the meat for a long time, and at Bucky’s we’ve never sacrificed quality for making things faster or cheaper.”