Short Sugar’s Drive-In, Reidsville
David Wilson
1328 South Scales St.
Reidsville, NC 27320
(336) 342-7487

“Short Sugar’s was originally the dream of the Overby brothers Johnny, Clyde and Eldridge. However, Eldridge was killed in an auto accident a few days before its opening. The two surviving brothers, Johnny and Clyde, decided to name the restaurant in honor of their brother and called it by his nickname, “Short Sugar.” There are varied tales around town as to how Eldridge acquired that nickname. All agree he was not tall. It stops there. Local folk with a twinkle in their eye will tell you a myriad of tales about the “sugar” part of Eldridge’s nickname. In any event, the restaurant that bears his nickname is a landmark in Reidsville.

Short Sugar’s sauce is a brown, smoky liquid that imparts memorable flavor to the chopped and sliced barbecue. The sauce is more akin to Eastern North Carolina sauce in texture as it has less tomato paste or ketchup, but it does not taste like a Lexington-style dip. I found the sauce thin, dark brown, vinegary, peppery and slightly sweet. There was some presence of sugar and Worcestershire that gave the sauce zip. David said that all of the sauce was made with Garner Food Products. He said that changing any one item to another brand would change the overall taste of the sauce. I agree.

The barbecue was chopped by hand. I had the coarse-chopped barbecue, which was pleasantly moist with a good smoky flavor. It came lightly sauced from the kitchen with the original Short Sugar’s sauce. The sliced ham with Short Sugar’s sauce was very moist and tender with a slightly smoky taste – an absolute joy.”

Excerpts from The Best Tar Heel Barbecue Manteo to Murphy pages 236-238.