New owners have big plans for Green River BBQ

Published 3:03 pm Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Saluda favorite recently changed ownership

SALUDA–Green River BBQ, a staple in Saluda since 1984, recently changed ownership after being purchased by Kathryn and Chris Deariso, originally from South Georgia. The local favorite was established in 1984 by Melanie Talbot.

Green River BBQ is well-known throughout the area as a family restaurant serving classic North Carolina-style barbecue, sides, and non-barbeque items such as mountain trout and sandwiches. The restaurant features outdoor dining, is pet friendly, and provides catering.

Kathryn and Chris Deariso (Photo submitted)

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Kathryn Deariso describes their food as a traditional slow-smoked BBQ with a fun, modern twist.  

“We kept most of the yummy things that made this BBQ joint a staple in the community and have tweaked some things and made them even more delicious,” Kathryn says. “We look forward to sharing them with our customers.” 

A registered nurse, Kathryn has worked in various roles in the medical profession for 20 years. Her husband, Chris, has spent 20 years in the golfing industry, managing three of the top 200 golf courses in the country. The couple shares a love of cooking and the mountains. Those loves brought them to Saluda and to Green River BBQ.

“Chris has always loved smoking BBQ and cooking,” Kathryn adds. “He has traveled throughout the southeast, competing in BBQ competitions. Our combined backgrounds and passions for managing people, marketing, and loving food made this the perfect venture for us.”

Kathryn and Chris believe that food and music are two of the best ways to bring people of all backgrounds together. 

Kathryn Deariso describes their food as a traditional slow-smoked BBQ with a fun, modern twist (Photo by Jamie Lewis)

“We are very excited to be a part of such a sweet and unique community and feel very blessed to be right where we are,” she says. “We have big plans for Green River BBQ, to take all of the wonderful things that Melanie did and expand them. We can’t wait to get to know the locals and our new neighbors and to meet all the travelers who pass through this beautiful part of North Carolina.”

The restaurant will be doing more catering, with an option for unique event styling. Additionally, they plan to add more pick-up options geared toward hikers, cyclists, kayakers, and all outdoor enthusiasts and have plans to add fun winter events. 

Green River BBQ is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. For more information, visit or call (828) 749-9892.