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. 

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