Becky Holland/Piney Woods News Photo
From Staff Reports, email@example.com
MARSHALL – Getting a ‘Brown Pig’ from Neely’s on Grand has been a tradition for numerous generations of east Texans for nearly 89 years. The restaurant is still going strong as the place to get barbecue and hometown conversations.
Though time has caused many changes in Marshall – with fast-food restaurants like Popeye’s, Chicken Express, McDonald’s, popping up everywhere to satisfy today’s society’s needs for quick and fast – Neely’s on Grand stands strong.
The people behind the counter and in the kitchen may have changed a little bit, but when you walk into the restaurant, you are immediately taken back to the times of simplicity, drive-ins and car-hops. Pictures of Neely’s on Grand’s history line the back wall, and different signs through the years line the walls. There is even a signed picture from one of Marshall’s famous, Bill Moyers, journalist. Y.A. Tittle, all-time great football player, frequented Neely’s through the years too. His picture is there too.
People still are greeted by name, and sometimes, the waitresses can quote a diner’s order before the diner can tell them.
Forget ‘Cheers,’ where everyone knows your name, go to the ‘pork palace’ in Marshall, ‘Neely’s on Grand,’ and everyone knows your name, age, family and what your drink choice is with your Brown Pig and fries. Neely’s started when the family began feeding hungry customers at the family’s store on U.S. 80 close to the Harrison County fairground. There were sandwiches, fresh slices of pie and A&W root beer. The restaurant moved to East Grand – first in one location, then to the one where it is now.
College students for many years would invade Neely’s tables to study, drink sodas, coffee and visit. Today, most diners are local. Many former diners do come from out of town to visit the community and stop in for a bit of nostalgia.
Even still, diners want to know what makes the ‘Brown Pig’ delicious. Current owners, management and family won’t say. The barbecue sandwich is still made the same way has been for years. There is always an ample portion of pork, and a little bit of shredded lettuce.
The sauce is still a family secret. The family has canned the sauce though, and it is for sale in canning jars on the counter.
Neely’s is open Monday-Thursday 10-3, and Fridays-Saturdays from 10-7.