‘AN ICON IN SALUDA’: Green River BBQ set to reopen 

Published 12:13 pm Monday, January 29, 2024

New owners of Saluda staple say they plan to open next month


SALUDA—Green River BBQ, a beloved eatery in downtown Saluda that closed last year, will soon reopen under new ownership. Tom and Bri Haas, who recently moved to Saluda, closed on the purchase of the restaurant on Friday. 

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Tom says he’s been coming to Saluda and eating at Green River BBQ for most of his life. 

“When I found out that the restaurant had shut down last summer, it was a shock,” says Haas. “Green River BBQ is an institution and icon in Saluda. Not having it here just felt wrong.”

Saluda City Commissioner Melanie Talbot opened Green River BBQ in 1984. Talbot sold the restaurant to Kathryn and Chris Deariso on December 31, 2022, but Chris died unexpectedly in June and the restaurant has been closed ever since. 

“I look forward to the BBQ opening back up as it is so sad for me to see it closed,” says Talbot. 

Haas, who’s worked in and owned restaurants his entire adult life, says the restaurant being closed has provided an opportunity to make some needed changes but has also created some challenges.

“That’s a long time for anything to sit around, much less a fully stocked restaurant,” he says. “An unfortunate amount of product has long since expired and needs to be disposed of.”

Tom says that with the help of close friend Josh Kilby, he’s making improvements to the smoker room and adding an ice well and soda gun behind the bar, as well as making a few other minor changes, but the restaurant will mostly be the same old Green River BBQ that people know and love. 

“We are going to reopen with a slightly smaller menu, just to work out the kinks and get our feet under us, but the menu will stay the same for the most part,” says Haas. “The food has always been good, so while I might tweak a thing or two, we’re not trying to reinvent the wheel, just polish it a bit!”

Haas hopes to rehire some of the same employees if they’re still around and available and will hire new people to fill out the rest of the staff. He plans to reopen Green River BBQ in late February or early March.