Five questions with the two brothers behind Full Moon Bar-B-Que

Published 5:01 pm Tuesday, October 15, 2019

These barbecue brothers have been in the restaurant business for more than 25 years, and their love of the work rivals only their love of the barbecue meats and homemade sides served at Full Moon Bar-B-Que. We caught up with the Maluff duo for an update on their newly renovated restaurant on U.S. 280, plus a little history lesson on how the business started—and the story behind that now-famous moon face logo.

How did Full Moon Bar-B-Que—and its famous moon face logo—form years ago?

Pat James is the founder of Full Moon, which was called Pat James’ Full Moon Bar-B-Que in 1986. We purchased it from Pat in 1997 and just called ourselves “Full Moon Bar-B-Que.” Pat came up with the logo, moon face and name; all we did is enhance the moon to where it is today. The moon on the wall of the Southside location is a nice landmark.

What sets Full Moon Bar-B-Que apart from other barbecue joints?

We still have an open wood-burning pit in all of our restaurants. You see the pit with our fresh meats cooking. We still do things old-fashioned, and we spend money on each store on the wood, the pit masters and the pit itself. It’s true to what real barbecue is.

What was your mindset after the fire at this location in May 2018?

We knew we were going to rebuild. We gutted it out completely from head to toe, down to the concrete, and started fresh. We expanded the kitchen, and we have a baking room now. We also have kegs and coolers for draft beers. We can have different flights of beers, domestic and craft. We’re just glad we’re back open on Highway 280 for our employees and customers.

What are a couple of your favorite memories from working here over the years?

280 has been very good to us. It’s been enjoyable. We have some great, great customers, very loyal. We’re in our stores every day; we’re not absentee owners.

Just for fun, what are your personal favorite menu items?

I (David) love the smoked turkey, and there’s not a day I don’t eat chow chow. You can’t get that at other restaurants. I (Joe) like the turkey – the crisp, charred outside.

For more information about Full Moon Bar-B-Que, visit

This article was republished with permission from Shelby Living magazine.