You wouldn’t have necessarily known it driving by, but on the side of Kirby Dr. back in 1977, a small smokehouse was set to irrevocably change Houston’s food culture.
In many ways, Goode Co. BBQ began in the same manner than it operates: all in. Having grown tired of the daily deadlines and drudgery that came with a successful career as a graphic artist, Jim Goode decided he was either going to open a bait shop or a BBQ joint—and when the opportunity arose to take over a dilapidated smokehouse, he traded in his lifesavings and got to work the very same day.
Despite a background in advertising, Jim knew little about fixing BBQ. But after trial, considerable error and an exhaustive search to find the best ingredients South Texas had to offer, things began to look up.
Working alongside his family, Goode didn’t just fix a mean brisket; they fixed up the entire space. He even dusted off his design skills to paint their signage by hand, including his iconic saying: “You might give some serious thought to thanking your lucky stars you’re in Texas.”
After carving out some success with his first BBQ joint, Goode continued to open restaurants—even expanding to some Texas’s other culinary staples: Tex-Mex and Gulf-fresh seafood. It was with seven restaurants under his belt (many of which located in the same block of Kirby where it all began almost 40 years ago) that Jim passed the torch to his son Levi, who continues to run what has become one of Houston’s most iconic restaurant groups.
From one family-run business to another, we join the rest of Houston in celebrating Jim Goode’s legacy in light of his passing over the weekend. The surviving members of the Goode family request that any memorial contributions be made out instead to the Cure Alzheimer’s fund.