True Sign of Spring: Apalachin’s Big Dipper Bar-B-Que Opening
For many people in the region, the sweet smell of spring has finally arrived with the opening of an iconic barbecue stand in Tioga County.
Big Dipper Bar-B-Que on Route 434 in Apalachin opened for the season Thursday morning.
The roadside family business has been a fixture in eastern Tioga County since 1992.
Ryan Jochum, who now operates the Big Dipper, spent the last few weeks preparing the place for opening day. He arrived around 7 a.m. to fire up the charcoal and start grilling the first batch of chicken halves.
Jochum said he was planning to cook about 600 halves to accommodate the first customers of the season. Big Dipper also sells several other items, including baby back ribs, pulled pork and pulled chicken.
Jochum said preparations for opening day were relatively easy this year. There was some repainting, a lot of cleaning and other minor tasks to get things ready.
Jochum said everything on the menu is the same as last year. Despite inflationary pressures in recent months, he said "all the prices remain the same."
Big Dipper Bar-B-Que will offer its menu for takeout as usual and several picnic tables will be available under a covered dining area.
The neighboring Big Dipper ice cream stand opened for the season last week.
WATCH: WNBF News paid an early-morning visit to Big Dipper Bar-B-Que for a preview of the new season.
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