A Bite of the Boro: Dolan’s Bar B Que
“We smoke while you sleep” is a tagline that tells you a lot about the philosophy behind Dolan’s Bar B Que. Pit masters are used to early mornings and labors of love, but Mary Beth Brown has even more responsibilities as the operator of Dolan’s. Mary Beth co-owns the restaurant with her sister Lazar Brown Oglesby (Honey Specialties). We recently spoke with Mary Beth while touring the new location.
Mary Beth explained how diners will order at a front counter. Her goal is fast service for everybody. “I want you to be able to come in and grab something quick, especially during lunch. An hour for lunch goes by very fast, especially if you’re trying to go in somewhere and sit down. There aren’t a lot of places in Statesboro that operate like that.”
There is a drive-thru window that will be used exclusively as a pick up window for Dolan’s orders that have been called ahead, another testament to the speed and service Mary Beth wants to offer. However, if you aren’t in a hurry, Dolan’s will also be a great place to hang out. Their porch will be pet friendly and they plan to have live music on a regular basis. Relax and watch your favorite team on one of the TVs while enjoying a beverage, since Dolan’s also has your libation needs covered.
You’ll be asked while ordering if you want bar service. If yes, you’ll be given a separate table marker that will alert a bar server. Dolan’s will have a full bar, featuring nearly 10 signature cocktails that are all named after Statesboro Bars of the past. This includes drinks like The Wooden Nickel, The Flame, Animal House, and Legends. There will also be a focus on featuring locally sourced spirits, such as a frozen Arnold Palmer based drink that will include Savannah Sweet Tea Bourbon.
One of the features of Dolan’s that people have noticed from the outside is what has popped up behind it- a large, brick pit and chimney. Mary Beth explained that Dolan’s will actually have two pits for barbecuing: a traditional brick pit and a barrel pit. The brick pit is modeled after a pit on the family farm used by Dolan, Mary Beth and Lazar’s granddad, who is the namesake of the restaurant.
“There are certain things I like better on the brick pit and certain things I like better on the barrel. And in Texas, the holy grail of BBQ, a lot of them do it the same way. They cook their pork butts and chickens on the brick, which is what my intention is. Brisket and ribs on the barrel.”
Distinct from the dark greens and rustic aesthetic, a portion of the dining room stands out, with white tile and blue cabinetry. This is the new home of Honey Specialties where you can purchase cheesecakes, chicken salads, and casseroles. This corner will also sell Dolan’s sauces and merchandise like t-shirts and hats.
When asked why Dolan’s was being opened in Statesboro, Mary Beth smiled, and began by very graciously acknowledging how wonderfully Millen has supported both Dolan’s and Honey locations.
“On any given Saturday in Dolan’s in Millen, the majority of the people that are dining with us are not from Millen. At least half, if not more, are from Bulloch County- Statesboro could support this vision, while I could stay local.”
The potential impact a restaurant like Dolan’s could have on our community can’t be understated and Mary Beth’s excitement is infectious. She has many ideas she wants to implement down the road, such as Sunday brunch and bingo night.
“It’s almost done. I had one of these moments; it was when the electricity finally got turned on. I came by, it was close to dark, and all the lights were on, inside and out. I almost started crying. We’re so close.”
If you want to join the Dolan’s crew, they are currently accepting applications for most positions on their website (https://dolansbbq.com/). Look for Dolan’s Bar B Que to open in late September or early October on the Blue Mile.