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Longtime Indianapolis BBQ restaurant G.T. South’s closes after 25 years in business

Photo via G.T. South's Facebook page

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — G.T. South’s Rib House served up ribs and pulled pork for 25 years, but customers had to unexpectedly say goodbye this week.

The business, located at 5711 E. 71st St., announced its closure on Facebook this week. According to the post, the northeast side business closed at 8 p.m. Wednesday, just hours after making the announcement:

It’s with a very heavy heart we are sad to announce that after 25 years, GT Souths Rib House will be closing its doors at 8pm tonight, Wednesday, October 18th. We appreciate your loyalty and business for the past 25 years. We would like to thank everyone who made us a part of their weddings, graduations, birthdays and many other special events. We would also like to thank our employees, who have been with us for many years. Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to have done any of it Come by and get your last pulled pork and bottle of sauce, while supplies last!

Thanks so much for the last 25 years.

The South Family

Restaurant founder Gerald Travis South, a traveling businessman who was born in Georgia, ended up getting transferred to Indianapolis. He noticed the northeast side didn’t have a good barbecue joint, so he started his own in 1992. G.T. South’s Rib House started with six employees and seating for 28 people. It expanded a few months later and, by 1994, had enough room for 150 customers and 36 employees.

In 2003, the business opened a second restaurant on the south side of Indianapolis. The location at 4919 S. Emerson Ave. closed in 2011. South died in 2005.

Customers expressed their sadness at the closure in the comments.

“This is so sad. We hated when you closed the southside restaurant. The northside was just so far to go. Wish we had a little more notice as one last visit would have been wonderful. Thank you!” wrote Rachel Cook.

“So bummed… Both about the closing and that I didn’t find out till too late to stop by for barbecue sauce and one last pulled pork platter. When I moved to Indy 20 years ago from northeast Mississippi, this was the only place in town that I considered real barbecue. Still feel that way. I’ve tried other places over the years but nobody else has the quality of meat that was so consistent at G.T. South’s,” wrote Debbie Gates.

“I saw this on the news tonight and it was a punch in the gut,” wrote Shone Richardson. “It literally stopped me in my tracks. Absolutely love this place and the people there. Best b-que and service ever!! Long live G.T. South’s!!!”