Lost Memphis: The Pig Pen

Call me crazy (many of my doctors do), but I really love the stark simplicity of this ad, found in the back pages of a 1954 Treadwell High School yearbook.

It tells you to "Eat" and then it tells you where: Pig Pen. And not "Eat at" or even "The Pig Pen." Nope, just: "Eat ... Pig Pen."

The tone is very "Me Tarzan, You Jane."

You've got the address on Summer, and even the one-word summary of the type of eatery: "Barbecue." You really can't get more concise than that.

But then, perhaps because they had all that space to fill, they dropped in the mouth-watering slogan: "Where you get a bargain in a good fat pig," which not only suggests the prices are low, but gosh isn't a "good fat pig" just about the best kind for a barbecue?

Plus, it would make a fine band name: Good Fat Pig.

The Pig Pen is gone, replaced by a lovely parking lot, but if you have a hankering for barbecue, you can just step next door, to Tops. Be sure to ask ’em if their sandwiches came from "a good fat pig."

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Famed Memphis trivia expert Vance Lauderdale answers reader questions weekly here on his blog!

About This Blog

Ask Vance is the blog of Vance Lauderdale, the award-winning columnist of Memphis magazine and Inside Memphis Business.  Vance is the author of three books: Ask Vance: The Best Questions and Answers from Memphis Magazine's History and Trivia Expert (2003), as well as Ask Vance: More Questions and Answers from Memphis Magazine's History Expert (2011) and Vance Lauderdale's Lost Memphis (2013). He is also the recipient of quite a few nice awards, the creator of several eye-catching wall calendars, and the only person we know with a vintage shock-treatment machine in his den. 

You can find him from time to time in the pages of the Memphis Flyer and MBQ, on WKNO television, and on Facebook. When he is not exploring the highways and byways of Memphis, he spends his time sleeping, napping, and dozing.

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