For nearly nine years, Bare Bones BBQ has been a destination for quality barbecue, with the addition as a country music performance venue for the past four years.

Owned by Ricky and Tana Snoddy, the restaurant is managed by Chad and Katy Hill, who enjoy providing outstanding entertainment in addition to great food.

"We started out with a 12 by 12 foot stage, and it's expanded to a 32 foot by 24 foot stage," Chad said. "We've really grown over the last four years. We've been able to bring in a lot of top Texas performers including Tracy Byrd, John Conlee and Roger Creager, to name just a few."

While those entertainers draw big crowds, it's the food that keeps customers flocking to Bare Bones on a regular basis.

Depending on what you plan to order, you might want to arrive early if you want to make sure your entree of choice is available.

"We sell out of our turkey all the time," Chad said. "Everybody loves our turkey. A lot of people have told us it's the best they've ever had, and with soldiers coming in from Fort Hood, that's people nationwide. It sells out pretty much every day."

He said he sent a note to “Texas Monthly” magazine telling them to try Bare Bones' turkey and see for themselves if it's not the best they've ever had. He is still awaiting a reply.

Although the turkey may not be available when diners arrive, those who have a hankering for barbecue have some other top-notch choices, including sausage, brisket, chicken and ribs.

There's also the B.O.B. burger that Chad says is his personal favorite menu item, brisket on a bacon cheeseburger, that is another top seller.

Other popular items include Dr Pepper ribs and the Southwest turkey sandwich.

Chad's venture in the restaurant business began after a career as a healthcare provider and also working for a local veterinarian.

"My in-laws own the Feed Mill, and my father-in-law (Ricky Snoddy) had owned a barbecue place in Belton. He wanted to open another barbecue restaurant. This is the result of his vision. We use his recipes, and he's created the seasoning. He's taught me how to do things right and prepare the best barbecue possible.

"My mother-in-law (Tana Snoddy) is the business person, and my father-in-law is the meat person. He knows how to make everything so tender."

With Thanksgiving coming up, Bare Bones offers special holiday meals and also smokes turkeys for customers.

Chad said he is blessed to receive plenty of positive feedback from customers.

"They tell us they like the family atmosphere and like that we take the time to talk to people and make people feel welcome," he said. "I try to talk to everybody. People love the food, too, and that's always great to hear.

"I enjoy getting to know the people who come in, whether they're from this area or somewhere else. People come in from San Antonio or Houston to see the music performances, but it's the food that keeps the locals coming back."

Bare Bones also hosts frequent fundraisers, usually at least four times a year, to help raise money for community members in need.

Located at 4305 S. Highway 36, the restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

For more information, visit https://www.barebonesbarbeque.com or to place an order call 254-248-1441.