Carlile’s was originally opened in 1945 by Warren and Pearl Carlile in a rented building on the southwest corner of 6th Avenue South and 35th Street in Birmingham, Alabama. In l950, Warren built a restaurant & moved the business to 3510 6th Avenue South under the name “Carlile Brothers Bar-B-Q”. His two brothers Robert and Herman partnered with him. Warren had four sons and three daughters. Richard, the eldest son, started working at the restaurant in l952. In due course Joe, Jimmy, Freida, and Ruby worked their turn, Bobby & Gert were too small (they too would get their shot, but at Scottsboro). The boys were started at the bottom work level- cleaning everything from grease pits, charcoal bins etc, gradually working their way up to manager. The girls also did their turn but were not started at the bottom. Herman’s son, Pete, worked the front in the 70’s.
During the 50’s, 60’s, and early 70’s Warren planned family vacations to accommodate visits to the best restaurants in the southeast (Richard still does this). Carlile’s was known for Bar-B-Q and cheeseburgers, the restaurants we visited were known for non-Bar-B-Q items, such as fried shrimp, Boiled Shrimp, Fish of various types & cooking methods, Steak , and still others for various things. Our mission was to determine who had the best recipe for a particular specialty, and then get that recipe. We got those recipes; sometimes recipes were swapped, sometimes we bought a particular recipe, and on occasion we worked at a restaurant to find out how to prepare a specific dish. We tucked the recipe away for future use.
In 1969, Warren and Richard developed a plan for what they believed would be the restaurant of the future. These plans called for broad menu additions, attractive to the business person yet family friendly, and capable of handling more formal and larger affairs. In 1974, Warren suffered his 3rd heart attack, severely limiting his activity. Richard was in Germany with the U. S. Army & not allowed to return home long enough to establish a satisfactory management arrangement, making it necessary to sell “Carlile Brothers”. Warren & Herman sold the Restaurant in 1974 to the Evan’s Family and retired.
In 1976, Warren & Pearl watched as Richard Carlile and his wife Susan opened Carlile’s Restaurant in Scottsboro, Alabama. The restaurant opened with a menu similar to Birmingham’s but evolved to the menu similar to the one we have today. Most of the items on the menu were hand prepared on premises using the recipes from Carlile's 1st generation or originating in Richard's kitchen.They made the menu if Richard really liked them. Richard and Susan retired in 2009.
On October 26, 2011, Richard and Susan watched as Rob Carlile and his wife Greta opened Carlile's Restaurant, the third generation. This restaurant promises to be the best yet, with with the most popular items from the past on this menu plus new items that were developed and are hand prepared on premises. Most of the items on the menu today are hand prepared on premises using the recipes handed down, gathered on family vacations or originating in Carlile’s kitchen. The menu items on this menu will offer only the items the Carlile's eats, and they only eat the good stuff. All items are of the highest quality, prepared with care using the finest herbs & spices following the best recipes and served with pride at family prices.
Where are they now? Robert died in 1957. Warren died in 1983, Pearl died 11 Sep 2007. Herman died in 1991. Jimmy, Warren’s 3rd son, opened a restaurant in Birmingham, Alabama in 2000 and is doing well. Herman’s kids,Linda is retired, Elaine and Pete, opened restaurants in Moody, Alabama in the early 90's but retired about 2005 and otherwise doing well. Richard retired in 2009 and is now simply advising Rob, his son & wife Greta as they commence operation of their third generation Restaurant, also called Carlile's.