About Us

Founder John "Big Daddy" Bishop sitting in front of the Tuscaloosa Dreamland BBQ

It all started with a Dream…

… and it was in that dream that God visited John “Big Daddy” Bishop and told him to open a restaurant. Mr. Bishop obliged and opened the original Dreamland in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in 1958. In the early years, the restaurant sold everything from burgers to postage stamps. It was their hickory-fired ribs, however, that quickly became the local favorite. 

A plate of Dreamland BBQ ribs, a plate of white bread, and a glass of tea

Soon, barbecue lovers from all over the country began dropping by to enjoy Dreamland’s iconic ribs, white bread, and BBQ sauce. More than 60 years later, they still do. 

While Dreamland has grown over the years, Mr. Bishop’s incredible story and love for the community remain at the forefront of everything we do. It’s why we proudly say, 

“Ain’t nothing like ’em nowhere.”

We prepare our Legendary Ribs using the same technique Mr. Bishop taught us more than six decades ago. Our pitmasters grill our pork spareribs over a hickory wood-fired pit and baste them with our signature vinegar-based  BBQ sauce. The result: Meaty, full-flavored ribs with a distinct pull from the bone. 

Dreamland BBQ ribs on a plate with barbeque sauce and white bread
A quart of Dreamland BBQ's Barbeque Sauce

Our Southern-style BBQ sauce is vinegar-based and packs a little bit of heat. It’s the BBQ sauce we are known for, and the only one we offer.