DIXIE PIG BARBECUE
By Adelaide (Griffin) Arthur SMA ’57
and James Griffin GW ‘44
This article first appeared in the GWHS Lunch Bunch Gazette put out by Ralph Schwab each month.
The original Dixie Pig was opened in Alexandria at the intersection of the GW Parkway and Powhatan Street by Emma (Griffin) Robinson (grandmother of Adelaide Arthur and Jim and Frank Griffin Jr). At that time (1924), land across the parkway did not have a Hot Shoppe but was the city dump for Alexandria. The Dixie Pig remained in operation until about 1940 when it was sold and became Kaus’s Barbecue.
A Dixie Pig Barbecue was opened up on the GW Parkway at the site where the Belle Haven Marina is now located. It was owned by Alice (Griffin) Robinson aunt of Adelaide, Jim and Frank. It operated for a few years until the US Government claimed the land for the Parkway and necessitated closing the Pig and an adjacent trailer park.
In 1946 the Dixie Pig reopened at the intersection of Route 1 and Beacon Hill Road in what at the time was the Starlight Grille. It was opened by Helen Griffin (mother of Jim and Frank Jr.) with partners Minnie and Harry Holt. The Holts later opened the Southern Barbecue located just south of the original location of the Penn-Daw firehouse on Route 1. Operation of the restaurant was taken over by Frank Griffin Sr. ( father of Jim & Frank Jr.) about 1949 and continued until his death in 1969. Jim and Frank Jr. took over operation of the restaurant at that time with invaluable managers Esther West(day) and Evelyn Jones(night). The restaurant was sold in 1981 to Maurice Byrd who later sold to Ron Elliott, who then sold to Rite-Aid Pharmacy who now owns and operates a pharmacy on the site.
In 1949 a Dixie Pig was opened at the corner of Powhatan Street and Bashford Lane in Alexandria by Arthur “Pid” Griffin and his wife Anne (‘Sis”) Griffin . It was frequented by Willard Scott (a GWHS Grad and the NBC Weatherman for years). An interview of Scott by the National Enquirer was mostly about the barbecue at the Powhatan Dixie Pig. It was referred to prominently in the movie “ Remember the Titans “ as well as the current TV series West Wing. Upon death of “Pid” Griffin in 1972, operation of the restaurant was taken over by Adelaide (Griffin) Arthur and her husband Robert Sidney “Satch” Arthur GW ‘55 until the restaurant was sold in 1984. Paintings and photographs of both restaurants are still being sold at the Torpedo Factory. Both these restaurants were landmarks for many years and are remembered fondly by both owners and customers.
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