Our Story

The Legend of Southside

1882 | Elgin, TX

Southside is Born

In 1882, William Moon started Southside Market by raising and slaughtering animals on FM 1704 in Elgin, TX. He carried the meat into town by horse-drawn wagon and sold it door-to-door. He had to sell it fresh or lose it to spoilage. Therefore, the Smoked Sausage and BBQ was created simply from having fresh meat and no refrigeration. In 1886, Moon opened his first brick and mortar store on Central Ave. In 1908, he sold the business to Lee Wilson who continued to serve the Elgin community as the small town butcher shop that sold BBQ in the back.

Tools of the trade – Southside Market butcher shop at 109 Central, Elgin

1930s | Elgin, TX

Legend Has It

Bud Frazier was a colorful character who worked for Southside from early 1895 – 1971 and witnessed much of our history in the making. Later in life, Frazier told the story of Lee Wilson wanting him to take over and giving him the business, twice. But, the deals never held up. According to Frazier, Southside also changed hands several times at regular Wednesday night card games. He claimed that several Thursday mornings he showed up to work for a new boss. Through luck and persistence, Wilson always maintained ultimate control. That is until he sold the business in 1942.

1927 – Meat Market Counter Southside Market in Elgin

1968 | Elgin, TX

Bracewells Buy Southside

On Sept. 1st. 1968, Ernest W. Bracewell, Sr. and wife Adrene bought Southside Market & BBQ. Ernest was born in Stockdale, TX and graduated from high school in Lytle, TX before marrying his high school sweetheart and serving in the Korean War as a U.S. Marine. Later, as a meat salesman for Armour & Co., he called on Southside as one of his clients. After buying Southside, Bracewell delivered meats to area grocers, including a then small H. E. Butt Grocery Co. He also offered Southside’s homemade Elgin Hot Sausage to the stores and the Elgin Hot Gut legend began to grow!

Elgin Courier, Sept. 26, 1968

1992 | Elgin, TX

Move to Hwy. 290

In 1991, Ernest Sr. purchased the old Security National Bank building and land on Hwy. 290. He and his son, Billy, began remodeling to create a new home for Southside, adding the pit room, kitchen, meat market, and meat plant. July 1, 1992 - first sausage stuffed at the new location. July 16th - opening day for the restaurant. The Bracewells also added beans, potato salad, baby back ribs, and tea. The previous menu featured only meat by the pound, bottled soda, pickles, jalapeños, and onions. Three decades later, Southside is still going strong at 1212 Hwy. 290 in Elgin, TX.

109 Central to 1212 Hwy. 290

2014 | Bastrop, TX

The Legend Continues

After more than 132 years in Elgin, Southside made the decision to open a second location. For the first time in Southside’s history, they built a restaurant and market from the ground up. Combining elements salvaged from their original location in Elgin with local Bastrop wood and resources, the details speak for the company’s respect of history and hopes for the future. On November 4, 2014, at the time of Southside’s Grand Opening at 534 Hwy. 71 in Bastrop, Southside could boast being the “Oldest and Newest BBQ Joint in Texas!”

Bastrop Restaurant, Est. 2014

2019 | Austin, TX

From the Sausage Capital to the State Capital

On November 24, 2019 Southside officially set up shop in the big city of Austin, TX at 10515 N. Mopac Expy. In this bustling urban area they created a unique restaurant and dining experience that maintained the hometown hospitality and rural atmosphere of their earlier BBQ joints which, of course, included authentic Central Texas BBQ smoked low and slow on-site over real Texas post oak wood. This North Austin location offered a more convenient pit stop for many of Southside’s longtime fans while also paving the way for new relationships with old-school BBQ enthusiasts.

Austin (Arbor Walk) Restaurant, Est. 2019

"Stopped at Southside BBQ while passing through Elgin, easily the best meal on my Texas Trip! Elgin is famous for their Smoked "Hot" Sausage - it lived up to expectations. Several combos available, which allowed me to try Brisket as well. Must-stop if you make the drive from Houston - Austin!"

Geoff, TripAdvisor Review
Elgin, TX

"Delicious! I had the brisket loaded baked potato which is a meal in itself. Brisket was perfectly cooked and the staff were very patient and friendly for us being first time visitors."

Kee, Yelp Review
Suitland, MD

“Southside Market and Barbecue is a must stop when traveling through Bastrop. The meats are moist and flavorful. Every side dish is great. The plates have generous servings. We have found the staff to be friendly and attentive. Casual dining at its best.”

Edna, TripAdvisor Review
Jourdanton, TX

"We've come here for years. Its world renowned. Their fire has been burning longer than I am old."

Ray R., Yelp Review
San Antonio, TX

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