Made in Tennessee: McKenzie's BBQ



What started out as an ice cream parlor in downtown Jackson, is now a market that sells food from across the country. The manager took me on a tour.


Right on Airways Boulevard sits McKenzie's BBQ, a market and restaurant that the community knows very well.

The original owners began the store as a bakery and ice cream shop in downtown Jackson, but after a few years they wanted to be closer to their farm to grow apples and make apple cider.


Now fast forward nearly 50 years, Amin Khalil is the manager and continues the legacy after John McKenzie passed away about 8 years ago.


“I am continuing whatever he taught me. I am following his lead on everything. I don’t change nothing except I’m adding other stuff from different cultures", says Khalil.


The restaurant serves southern… Egyptian… and Greek food to their customers as well as their BBQ.


Khalil adds, “the main thing, it is very important in a hard time like, like the corona and all that, the thing is Mr. John, and I promised him I would keep this place opened until the day I die.”


Khalil says he is keeping that promise and he takes it very seriously, but he enjoys making sure the doors open every morning.


“If I come here seven days a week at 3 in the morning until 6 at night, it’s not going to bother me. The moment this door opens, I’m happy.”

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