A young boy sits watching his mother, aunts and older sisters preparing supper in the kitchen of a small farmhouse in rural Lavonia located in northeastern Georgia. Meanwhile in the southwestern town of Climax Georgia, a pretty little girl in a white dress helps cook the family meal in the kitchen of an old converted schoolhouse. These two children were not doing anything special. It had been done for generations in both their families, only this time it was planting the seeds for what would become one of the first and arguably the best southern style barbeque restaurants in Indiana.
How do two children from Georgia end up opening a restaurant in Indiana? Well they met at college to become G. Travis and Gladys South and he gets a job as a salesmen, she gets one as a teacher. His new job takes them to Florida where they have their first child, a daughter, then to Alabama eventually arriving in Indiana in the late sixties. After a few years and the births of their two sons they start to call Indiana home, but something is missing, the only place they can get southern cooking is in their own kitchen. This gets G.T. thinking why should there not be a restaurant that specializes in the type of cooking he and his wife grew up on, that his kids are growing up on, in the state he now calls home. Over the next ten to fifteen years he carries this thought in the back of head as he continues to travel to southern states doing his job, only now when he stops for lunch he's not only getting food, but also ideas.
G.T. decided that a southern barbeque restaurant would go over great here, and with his kids grown, his time has come to stop dreaming and to do something about it, but what? Not having any real restaurant experience, G.T. looks into franchising. After a couple months he realizes he would have to stick to their recipes instead of using any of the things he and Gladys got compliments on from friends and neighbors at their backyard barbeques. So with a small investment G.T. opens his own restaurant.
On June 10th 1992 G.T. South's Rib House and Southern Barbeque opens for business. In a 1,200 sq foot space locate at 5711 E 71st Street in northeast Indianapolis G.T.'s dream becomes a reality. With a small crew and only 28 seats, G.T. South's quickly becomes a success leading to its first expansion in November of 1992. The second expansion came in April of 1994 adding more seating, a full service bar and enlarging the kitchen. In March of 1999 the kitchen was enlarged once more and a banquet room was added bringing the seating to 190. The once small space was now 5,000 square feet and employed 35+ people.
G.T.'s dream had exceeded his imagination, and with all three of his children and some of his grandchildren working there G.T. South's Rib House and Southern Barbeque is truly a family business that will be around for generations to come.