Award-winning Wiley’s Championship BBQ Announces Savannah, Georgia Restaurant Expansion: Americana-rich Space, Menu and Brand Personality

Share Article

In an era when mom-and-pop businesses are throwing in the towels, Wiley and Janet McCrary of Wiley's Championship BBQ are staying on track, literally and expanding their Americana-rich barbecue restaurant and catering business in Savannah, Georgia USA. Enlarged to spaciously seat 60, the award-winning Wiley’s Championship BBQ restaurant reveals new menu and character-rich additions just in time for 2015 holiday travelers, plus bigger-capacity seating for family-and-friends dining.

Savannah GA barbecue restaurant decor enhances best bbq food experience | Photo courtesy Wiley's Championship BBQ

Wiley's Championship BBQ in Savannah, GA USA

Hot Q. Cold Brew. tops Wiley's Championship BBQ's swelling menu that includes kids' fare to manly sampler barbecue plates, soulful southern appetizers, Janet's Sides, house-made desserts, wine, plus draft and craft beer.

Wiley's Championship BBQ expands its Americana-rich mom-and-pop restaurant, going against the trend. Celebrated for its award-winning slow-smoked barbecue and ribs, Wiley's Championship BBQ’s unveiled Q4 2015 enlarged space, menu, and brand personality.

During the 2015 New York City press industry event, Visit Savannah, Savannah’s tourism destination marketing firm, served and showcased Wiley’s award-winning barbecue.

“Deliciousness is always our number one focus. When doubling our restaurant size we’ve added spaciousness and more entertainment on the walls, including Wiley's meaningful train memorabilia," announces Janet McCrary, the logistics partner at the little barbecue joint on Whitemarsh Island near Savannah. In addition to great southern barbecue, the popular eatery delivers at least the last two out of three promises from a vintage rail slogan: "Sleep Well, Eat Well, Enjoy Your Journey".

“Savannah architect Roy Ogletree brought another important layer of America’s great spirit of preservation to Wiley's latest project. Roy had salvaged 110 year-old, heart of pine (2” thick) lumber from a home in nearby Wilmington Island. In addition to designing the restaurant's space and directing the construction, he designed and built the communal table and bar tops from the vintage lumber,” Janet adds. The creative idea for the table design was found on Pinterest.

What's New in the BBQ Experience at Wiley's Championship BBQ?

Foodies can conjure the endearing first impressions: a waft of barbecue smoke, southern-slow conversations, and Blues in the Night playing in background. “Wiley’s is a prime slice of Americana where each diner can celebrate a mini parade of the senses – it feels comforting, looks patriotic in southern ways, tastes delicious, and tempts immediately to settle in and feast from the barbecue aroma,” adds retired marketing executive Sandy Traub.

  • Already a barbecue circuit legend, Wiley McCrary’s meaningful train memorabilia amplifies his lifelong passion as a rail buff. As a 20-something rail buff, he had hopped the last run of the Nancy Hanks II on April 30, 1971. When Atlanta's Terminal Station was demolished the following year, Wiley purchased a passenger baggage cart that is now in his Savannah BBQ restaurant, along with an 1891 aerial illustration of downtown railroads published by the Savannah Morning News.
  • Additional lunch and supper seating now expands the restaurant’s capacity to 60.
  • To make a lunch or supper stop all the more engaging a new and bigger menu emphasizes what diners love – the best barbecue and a cold beer -- “Hot Q. Cold Brew.” top the swelling menu of kids' fare to manly sampler plates, soulful southern appetizers, Janet’s Sides, house-made desserts, wine, plus draft and craft beer.
  • For small groups and parties, a new custom-made communal table will serve from 12 to 15 diners with advance reservations. It’s the spot where Wiley, aka BBQ General, will chair prefix dinners in the near future.

“Now rail enthusiasts and Georgia Railroad Museum visitors can make another train-theme stop in Savannah for lunch or dinner,” Janet adds. It was during a train trip that Katherine Lee Bates was inspired to write the poem that became America the Beautiful. Savannah’s own Johnny Mercer penned the sounds of Savannah’s trains in his Blues in the Nights lyrics.

"Now the rain's a fallin'. Hear the train a callin' Hoowee!
Hear that lonesome whistle
Blowin across the trestle Hoowee!
A hoowee ta hoowee, clickety clack
It's echoing back the blues in the night."
-- Johnny Mercer, Blues in the Night

Anticipating the expansion for three years, Janet turns the spotlight to the BBQ General, Wiley, the business namesake. “Isn’t it brave of an entrepreneur, almost age 70, to share so much of his true self? Wiley’s daring individuality is at the very core of what makes this business unique,” states his wife and business partner, Janet.

Found sitting in a director chair at the bar directing staff, the wry barbecue champion has taken on superstar status, signing cookbooks and greeting diners. Wiley has preached the good news gospel of barbecue, including catering, for thirty years. The business’s “Church of the Holy Smoke” radio spots ooze with the sound of a barbecue revival.

Construction in the restaurant’s adjoining space was timed so that the popular barbecue restaurant would reopen Saturday, November 21, 2015, having taken only five out-of-service days to transition into the well-planned expanded space.

Holiday Barbecue Party: BBQ, Joy Drinks [beer] and Tidings, a tribute to The Railroad Trainman (1902)

Earmarked to celebrate the McCrary’s newest headline-worthy accomplishments, a holiday open house, Wiley’s Gawgey [pronounced jaw-gee] Christmas Barbecue Party is planned for late December 2015.


Correctly branded as “headline-worthy”, Wiley’s Championship BBQ (seats 60) is an Americana-rich, backroads’ happy discovery for cultural emersion travelers and barbecue aficionado’s bucket-list destination spot. Some call the barbecue joint a Cheers-like, “everyone knows your name” informal, foodies’ welcoming place. Located near Savannah, Georgia’s 10-minutes from the National Landmark Historic District along U.S. 80’s beach-bound route to Tybee Island on Whitemarsh Island.

AWARDS: (1) readers voted Wiley’s the 4th best BBQ joint in the U.S., plus feature on Good Morning America, Smarter Travel on Huffington Post. (2) The Best BBQ in Every State (and DC) by Thrillist, Dan Gentile. (3) 2010 - 2015 Best Ribs Connect Savannah. (3) 2010 -2014 Best BBQ Savannah Magazine. (4) 2010-2014 Best BBQ Savannah Morning News Readers’ Choice. (5) 2010 – 2015 “Best of the Best” BBQ Restaurants in America National BBQ News. (6) National Barbecue News voted Wiley’s Championship BBQ cookbook “2015 Book of the Year”. (7) FoodieHubTV features Wiley’s Pork, Ribs, Beef Brisket, and Sweet Potato Casserole.

HOURS: Lunch is 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; supper is 5p-8p, Monday – Thursday; 5p-9p Friday and Saturday. Closed on Sunday.

CONTACT: 4700 Highway 80 East Savannah, GA 31410, Savannah, Georgia 31410-2942. (912) 201-3259. bbqgeneral(at)gmail(dot)com;; Via social media Twitter @WileysBBQ, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

DIRECTIONS: from City Hall in downtown Savannah → Travel east on Bay Street, turning right onto East Broad Street, then left onto President Street Extension/Islands Exp. Continue on the Islands Expressway to Whitemarsh Island. Exit the Island Expressway at the ramp of Highway 80,Thunderbolt/Savannah GA26 W, Saffold Drive). Wiley’s is immediately on your right, before reaching Five Guys Burgers and Fries.

SOURCE Wiley’s Championship BBQ


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Janet McCrary
since: 01/2009
Follow >
Wiley's Championship BBQ
since: 04/2010
Like >
Follow us on
Visit website