Famous Dave's: Dave Anderson : How I Built This with Guy Raz Growing up in 1960's Chicago, Dave Anderson didn't eat much deep dish. Instead, his dad took the family to the South Side for barbecue, and those memories—and aromas—stayed with him. For years, Dave tinkered with his own recipes for sauces and sides while working as a salesman and business advisor to Native American tribes. Finally in 1994, he opened his first barbecue shack in the last place you might expect to find one: the little town of Hayward, Wisconsin. The chain grew quickly—too quickly—and Dave developed a love-hate relationship with the brand he'd created, but never lost his passion for smoked ribs and brisket. Today, Famous Dave's has around 125 restaurants across the U.S., making it one of the largest barbecue chains in the country.

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Famous Dave's: Dave Anderson

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Famous Dave's: Dave Anderson

Famous Dave's: Dave Anderson

Famous Dave's: Dave Anderson

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Alex Gilbeaux for NPR
Dave Anverson is the founder of Famous Dave's.
Alex Gilbeaux for NPR

Growing up in 1960's Chicago, Dave Anderson didn't eat much deep dish. Instead, his dad took the family to the South Side for barbecue, and those memories—and aromas—stayed with him.

For years, Dave tinkered with his own recipes for sauces and sides while working as a salesman and business advisor to Native American tribes. Finally in 1994, he opened his first barbecue shack in the last place you might expect to find one: the little town of Hayward, Wisconsin.

The chain grew quickly—too quickly—and Dave developed a love-hate relationship with the brand he'd created, but never lost his passion for smoked ribs and brisket. Today, Famous Dave's has around 125 restaurants across the U.S., making it one of the largest barbecue chains in the country.