Terry McKinnie began barbecuing as part of his grocery business, McKinnie's Bestway. There he would turn out hamburgers, pork steaks and other barbecue favorites.
As the business demands grew, he was joined around the barbecue pit by Mike Eckles. Together they filled the demand for barbecue through the grocery store, located at 1056 N. Kingshighway.
When the Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce tossed out the challenge for barbecue cookers to take part in their annual Redneck Barbecue, the men formed a team to test their prowess against others. "We were ready to cook but we needed a name," explained McKinnie. They came up with "Two Men and a Pig," adding a ceramic pig to their cooking team.
McKinnie recalled the team did well in the competition. Demand for their barbecue was so great, they began to talk about opening their own restaurant.
In October, Two Men and a Pig went from team name to restaurant title as they opened their business at 417 W. Malone Ave.
"We get a lot of calls and comments about where we got our name," laughed McKinnie.
Prior to opening in the building which once housed Houchin's Doughnuts, there was work to do. The interior of the building was painted and cleaned. The decor includes a variety of memorabilia and of course, pigs. Each of the tables has a small ceramic pig while a larger version stands by the cash register.
Eckles and Silas Hunt are busy in the kitchen preparing a variety of food. James Oliver waits on customers and keeps things running smoothly. Listing soul food, burgers, breakfast and barbecue among their specialities, Two Men and Pig offers a range of selections.
Breakfast, served any time of day, can be french toast, pancakes, eggs, gravy, hash browns and "a mean omelette any way you want it," said McKinnie. Breakfast sandwiches include the familiar egg on a biscuit or patrons can try fried bologna and a egg on toast.
For lunch there are hamburgers, barbecue, barbecued ribs along with daily specials. Catfish is a popular Friday special drawing in customers, who can also find it on the daily menu.
Business is picking up steadily since their October opening, the owners agreed. McKinnie attributes this to the quality of cooking by Eckles and the others. "I have had people call me to tell my how good the hamburgers are," he said.
It is a comment which obviously pleases Eckles. "I love to cook and I love to see people eat," he said. "And this is a good place to eat at a decent price."
Two Men and a Pig is currently open from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Eckles said as business continues to grow, they will look at expanding their hours.
Also the owners hope to continue to expand their catering business as word gets out on the quality and the selection they can offer.
"You don't have to go a long way to get good food," said Eckles. "It is right here at home."