April 21, 2017
There’s no shortage of Barbecue Restaurants in our area.
These popular eating spots each have unique features that attract enthusiasts from near and far. 521 BBQ is one of these. What accounts for its popularity? Is it the varied menu? Secret BBQ recipe? Award-winning ribs? Friendly staff? We spoke with Mike Dial, owner and pitmaster: “We attribute our success to a combination of these. After 12 years behind the grill, we have a feel for what people like.” We sent Trae Gonzalez, Indian Land local resident, (along with JC Photography) on this culinary mission and this is what Trae said: “You’re gonna want the BBQ plate. You’re gonna want the chicken wings. Then, you’re gonna want more of the mac and cheese. Everything is good! This is the only place I will order ribs from.”
How did it all start?
After retiring from the Navy in 1994, Dial took a management position in Charlotte where he was responsible for entertaining clients. Since Charlotte is known for it’s racing scene, he found it easy to entertain with a combination of NASCAR racing and barbequing. Dial would set up a barbecue grill right under the corporate tent. The feedback was always positive, so he left the corporate world & started his own BBQ business. Dial opened his first barbecue joint in 2005. This is where he established his special recipes and a following.
What drives Dial?
Dial is very passionate about growth and likes the challenging aspects of starting a new business, especially seeing it develop and evolve. He loves training new people, connecting with the community, and is proud to build something of his own.
Dial’s latest venture will be in Lancaster, SC. He is opening a new location on Main Street, next the USC Lancaster Native American Studies Center. This will be Mike’s 3rd location. 521 BBQ will be sponsoring Indian Land’s Teacher of the Month Award, for February.
Correspondent: Graeme V. Todd