Since our humble beginnings in the little town of Lockhart, TX, our family has pioneered and perfected true
Texas barbecue. Today, five generations of Black’s have made it possible to serve over 50 million guests from
around the world.
Texas’ Oldest BBQ Joint Owned by the Same Family
The Original Black’s BBQ opened its doors in 1932 in Lockhart, TX as a meat market. It wasn’t until 2nd
Generation Pitmaster Edgar Black Jr. came along that we turned into a full-fledged restaurant.
took pride in serving quality ingredients consistently every day - meat, pickles, onions, and crackers served
on paper. Back then, bbq was considered a blue-collar, working man’s food. The hype of Texas bbq didn’t yet
exist, still, our family remained steadfast in serving best-in-its-class bbq, and it has brought us where we
Over the years we have expanded across Central Texas with four locations for folks to enjoy
a meal in our dining room. When you come to our restaurant, you’re reminded of the good ole days. People
talking to other people, phones are put away, and the smell of brisket fills the air. You truly get a sense of
family and belonging.
We’ve been able to maintain the same values and standards because we’re a family
business that loves what we do. Our success is a reflection of the way we treat our customers and staff, and
the pride we take in our food. Nearly a century later, our business plan is to not change a
Born in 1898, Edgar Black Sr. started it all. In 1931 the Black family moved all of their
belongings, including their family cattle from East Texas to Lockhart, Texas. With the use
of the family cattle, Edgar Black Sr. started the Barbecue Legend, now known as Black’s
Barbecue. Initially, Edgar Black Sr. ran a meat market & slaughterhouse, which turned
into the largest grocery store in the area. As the business grew barbecue was introduced in
the store. This became a popular way to preserve meat, especially since there was no
refrigeration during this time. Now, 82 years later, no family in Texas has continuously
owned and operated a major barbecue business longer than Black’s barbecue.
Edgar Black Jr. was born in 1925 in Delhi, Texas. At six years old he made the move with
his family to Lockhart, Texas where his dad opened up a meat market and barbecue store.
Edgar Black Jr. went on to graduate as a distinguished student from Texas A&M in 1947
after fighting in WWII. Two Years later, Edgar married Norma Jean and they have now been
married for over 60 years. Together, Norma and Edgar have been providing the best service
and recipes to generations of customers.
Norma Jean Black and Edgar Black, Jr. married in 1949 and moved to Lockhart, Texas where
she and Edgar raised their family. Despite cultural norms, Norma Jean was Edgar’s right-hand
woman in the company, all while caring for her family full-time. Norma also believed it was
important for everyone to be represented in Black’s and became a pioneer for racial and
gender equality in and out of the business.
Norma created the family sauce that is used. Norma’s homemade sauce is famously simmered
and cooked in the restaurant's electric cooking pot for eight days. The sauce is
heavily requested by customers and was added to the company after visitors from the North
were especially fond of it. Norma’s dedication and signature recipes, undoubtedly help land
Black’s barbecue on the map.
Kent Black was born in 1952 in Lockhart, Texas. As a child, Kent was an entrepreneur and
would sell snow cones outside the store. By his teenage years, Kent was working at the
family business helping out in any way he could, whether it was stocking the grocery store
or working in the restaurant.
Kent went on to graduate with his Law degree from South Texas College of Law in Houston and
became a prosecutor for the Texas Senate Research center for 20 years. Kent married Candy
Black in 1983. Kent and Candy lived in Lockhart Texas, where Kent opened up his law practice
next to the family business. Anytime the store needed a helping hand, Kent was able to be
there until he later retired from Law and stepped into the family business full-time.
Candy Black was born in South Dakota and moved to Houston, Texas as a child. Candy met Kent
Black at Gilley’s Dancehall in Houston and they got married in 1983. Candy and Kent moved to
Lockhart where they raise their family and help out with the family business.
Eric Lenderman was born in Houston, Texas to Candy. Eric later moved to Lockart as a kid.
Like his family, Eric has a passion for BBQ and In 2009 he began working for the family
company. Currently, Eric lives in New Braunfels and works closely with the New Braunfels
Black’s barbecue location.
Barrett Black is a 4th Generation Pitmaster at Black’s Barbecue in Legendary Lockhart.
Every chance he got, he was at the restaurant learning from his grandparents. After college,
he came back to the business for what he thought would be only a few months but has turned
into 14+ years of continuing the family tradition and finding new ways to honor his past,
while looking to the future with his award-winning and popular new flavors.
With his dad, brother, and now over 150 team members, Black’s has grown to 4 locations, has
appeared on many TV shows, won many awards, and most importantly, made many people happy by
serving old-school Texas barbecue with a smile.