Augusta restaurateur looks back on barbecue with the president

Published: Feb. 24, 2023 at 1:19 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Whatever’s in the sauce at Sconyers Bar-B-Que, it was enough to catch the attention of the president of the United States.

That president was Georgia’s own Jimmy Carter.

Back in 1980, Larry Sconyers took his barbecue operation from Augusta to the nation’s capital and cooked on the White House lawn for members of Congress and the president himself.

We sat down with the former mayor as he talked about that special day.

More than 40 years later, the memories from that day live in pictures on the walls inside the Sconyers Bar-B-Que restaurant off Bobby Jones Expressway in Augusta.


Like any southern restaurant owner, it’s Larry Sconyers’s pleasure to serve the food on his grill known all over.

“I like to tell people we went from the poor house to the White House,” he said.

More than 40 years ago, Sconyers loaded up his grill.

“Pork chicken, ribs, beef. And of course, our traditional hash and rice and sweet tea,” said Sconyers.

Everything needed to prepare a feast fit for a president.

“I remember he came up, he said, ‘oh man, I’m glad to see you folks from Georgia over here.’ He was more excited to see us than we were to see him,” he said.

The excitement for Sconyers is how he introduced a taste of Augusta to Carter.

“It gave a lot of pride not only to us but to the people of Augusta that Augusta went to the White House and fed the president,” said Sconyers. He’s fed many more since the president.

“I’ll tell you when we came back home, we had a surge of business. People were excited that we had gone to the White House, and they wanted to come out and talk about it. So it really worked out good for us,” he said.