Phat Daddy’s to Open in Old Fairfax; Hog Days to Host Barbecue Contest at Lake Monroe

By the first week of August, Phat Daddy’s BBQ plans to open two more locations in the Bloomington area, making four places where people can enjoy the barbecue and other dishes offered.

Phat Daddy’s BBQ will soon be opening four locations in Bloomington, Monroe County and Scotland, Indiana. Here are the logos for those four locations.

Bruce and Kasey Parrott opened Phat Daddy’s BBQ in Ellettsville in the fall of 2023 after about five years of catering. Two months ago, Phat Daddy’s Sandwich Shop opened in Scotland, near Naval Base Crane. The sandwich shop primarily offers takeout options, including sandwiches stuffed with smoked meats and grilled items with sides.

On July 12, Phat Daddy’s BBQ Express will open as a pop-up restaurant in the food court at IU Health Bloomington Hospital. The express will be open for one day only, but the plan is to offer it as a recurring “express” restaurant in the food court, according to Tony Doyle, a member of Phat Daddy’s management team. The menu will feature “quick” dishes that are different from the other two locations.

In three to four months, Phat Daddy’s Lakeside Restaurant is expected to open in the former Fairfax Bar and Grill near the Fairfax State Recreation Area. The restaurant will serve barbecue as well as other dishes, including fish, Doyle said. The restaurant will be located next to a new bar, the Rusty Anchor Lakeside Saloon, both in the same building.

Although Phat Daddy’s expansion has been rapid, Doyle said the company’s ethos remains rock solid: “More than a meal, it’s a mission.”

This is reflected at Phat Daddy’s BBQ in Ellettsville by the donation tree where people are encouraged to pay for a drink, sandwich or dinner for someone else. The receipt hangs on the white evergreen tree near the counter at the front of the restaurant. Those in need can choose from the paid tabs.

“We’re kind of known for that,” Doyle said, adding that the restaurant was launched with a mission-first mentality.

The tree was filled with receipts until recent storms left people without power and food for days. Doyle and the parrots hope customers will help restock the tree so more people can enjoy the bounty.

Anyone can donate to the Giving Tree while dining at the Ellettsville restaurant, stop by 4747 W. Ind. 46, Ellettsville, or call 812-908-2196. Donations can be made online at, just press the “pay it forward” button.

Hog Days of Summer Barbecue Contest at Fairfax State Rec Area

Great White Smoke BBQ and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources are sponsoring Hog Days of Summer on July 26-27 at Fairfax State Recreation Area.

The barbecue competition has been held at West Boggs Park for four years, but the space has outgrown it, according to Dave White of Great White Smoke BBQ. He said the Fairfax location is perfect for the competition, which is sanctioned by Kentuckiana BBQ Pitmasters. Competitors will set up and start cooking on July 26, and the competition will open to the public on July 27.

Barbecue is the main attraction at Hog Days of Summer, which will take place July 26-27, 2024, at the Fairfax State Recreation Area near Lake Monroe.

Barbecue is the main attraction at Hog Days of Summer, which will take place July 26-27, 2024, at the Fairfax State Recreation Area near Lake Monroe.

The competition is intended to raise money for Hoosiers With Hearts Disaster Relief, which provides hot food and cold beverages to disaster-stricken areas in Kentucky and Indiana. After the initial aid, the group then holds food and supply drives outside Sam’s Club to send items to hard-hit areas, White said.

“Since 2022, we have helped multiple communities and raised thousands of dollars for individual causes in and around the community,” White said.

As of July 8, 17 teams from three states have registered to compete in this year’s Hog Days competition. Categories include chicken, ribs, pork and beef, with one competitor named best overall. There are also fun challenges, including the One Bite Challenge where teams are given a mystery protein at 8 a.m. and must present a finished food item for judging at 10 a.m. Anything Butt allows teams to prepare a dish that does not contain any of the four proteins (chicken, ribs, pork and beef) that are created on-site. This year, judging will take place at 4 p.m. on July 27. Dessert judging will follow at 4:30 p.m. with awards presented at 5:30 p.m.

Upland Brewing Co. will set up a beer garden and Great White Smoke BBQ will serve barbecue. Fourwinds Lakeside Inn will offer food during its regular hours.

White hopes Hog Days will become a two-day barbecue and music festival with a car show, a kids’ zone and more vendors. In West Boggs, White said several hundred people attended the event, which featured live music and games.

“At Fairfax, anything is possible,” he said. “The beach and the property itself offer so much to see and experience that we just want to encourage people to come and have a great day at the beach this year and hopefully both days next year.”

Contact Carol Kugler at

This article originally appeared in The Herald-Times: Bloomington BBQ: Phat Daddy’s expands; Hog Days contest in Fairfax

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