|Frank Sinatra. Bill Clinton. John McCain. George W. Bush. Bill
Cosby. Bear Bryant. Guy Lombardo. Justin Timberlake. The Rolling
Stones. Al Green. These and thousands of others, famous and not, have
made it a point to dine at Charlie Vergos' Rendezvous restaurant in
downtown Memphis. Some may have come to town just to go there as its
fame was nationwide. For example, it was cited as one of the "Top 5
Best BBQ Joints in America," according to Esquire magazine in 1999 and
in 2010 designated one of the 50 All-American Icons by Nation's
Charlie Vergos founded the Rendezvous in 1948 in downtown Memphis. His barbecued ribs and the restaurant became an icon of the city. The man was more than a restaurateur, however, as he was a fierce advocate for the downtown area and Memphis in general. Vergos served as head of the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, and through the restaurant sponsored such events as the Zoo Rendezvous and Rendezvous at the Dixon, major fund raisers for those community assets.
Say the name Charlie Vergos, though, and the first thought is BBQ in a place off an alley in downtown Memphis.
Charlie Vergos died March 27, 2010 at his home in the greater Memphis area. His restaurant continues, owned by his children.