Meet Graham Simmons! Graham is the barbecue/pit master and owner of Foothills Barbecue in Gainesville.
“I’ve always had an affinity for good barbecue. There are so many different types of barbecue around the world and they are all great in different ways. I wanted to draw inspiration from the different styles and add my own regional spin,” he said. “I envision Foothills Barbecue being a restaurant that someone can go to and never eat the same thing twice. Just like a craft brewer would experiment with their beer, I want to experiment with different flavors, while maintaining the high quality of my barbecue. Interesting flavor combinations really get me excited and make me love what I do.”
Graham will be opening a brick and mortar kitchen in the next month to prepare his barbecue and catering orders. He is a longtime Gainesville resident and is married to Graham, and the couple is expecting a baby later this year.
In the next five or 10 years, Graham hopes to have a permanent location for Foothills Barbecue.
“I see myself in a permanent location with Foothills Barbecue. Hopefully in a fun, exciting area. I want the people of Gainesville to have a place to come and eat great, innovative food, while listening to good music,” he said. “It will be a place for the whole family.”
Besides his own barbecue, he says that his favorite restaurant in Hall County is Eat at Thai.
“I love the laid back vibes and heavy hitting flavors that they bring to Gainesville. My favorite dish is the Spicy Basil Noodle, with a cup of their coconut soup.
“When I first moved to Gainesville, the place where my friends and I would go to eat during the week was El Sombrero. Something about that place just brings back great memories. It’s definitely a Gainesville staple.”
In his spare time, Graham enjoys all genres of much and is a huge fan of Texas/ Red Dirt Country music.
“They are the only ones who seem to stay true to the heart of country music. Either that or old 60’s-70’s country music,”he said. “I’m an old soul in several things and one of them is my music. The first concert I ever saw was Waylon Jennings. My Top Three current bands would be Jason Boland and the Straglers, Cody Jinks and Jason Isbell.”
He said his favorite thing about living and working in Hall County is the traditions as well as the new growth.
“From the Elephant Walk at Bobby-Gruhn, to Christmas on Green St., Gainesville always finds a way to support people within the community. Not only that, but the innovative ways that Gainesville is growing. I believe that the Gainesville will be exploding in the next few years,” Graham added. “Innovation in a city like Gainesville is fantastic to see.”