Our Story

Low and Slow

At Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, we believe that great food brings people together, and we're passionate about creating an atmosphere that's fun, relaxed, and welcoming. Our menu features a variety of slow-cooked meats, including ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and chicken, all seasoned with our special blend of spices and smoked to perfection. We also offer a range of sides, salads, and desserts, all made from scratch with the freshest ingredients.

Our bar-b-que is nationally acclaimed.

Our bar-b-que is nationally acclaimed. Dinosaur Bar-B-Que has gained a reputation far and wide for serving some of the best BBQ in the country with a vibrant and lively setting. Our food and sauces have won honors in publications such as Women’s and Men’s Health Magazines and have been featured on various shows such as Food Network, Travel Channel, Good Morning America and ABC World News. Our spice rub and full line of specialty sauces are available throughout the country and in Europe and Japan. Our cookbook, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que: An American Roadhouse, was voted as one of the best BBQ cookbooks by the National Association of BBQ.

At Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, fresh, homemade, and high-quality aren’t just catchwords, they’re our foundation. Our commitment to food quality and genuine hospitality is unyielding and intense. We pride ourselves on our loyal guests, employees, and being a great place to have fun and while sampling some of the best bar-b-que in the country. Our menu is firmly rooted in the traditions of Southern bar-b-que, but there are other influences that shape our flavors and give our food its own distinctive character. That’s one of the secrets of great bar-b-que — staying committed to tradition, but finding your own stamp and signature.

The Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Story


Born on the Road

It started in 1983 when founder John Stage and his two partners came up with the idea to provide bikers with high-quality food at the Harley Rendezvous, a massive motorcycle gathering near Albany, NY. They named their mobile concession stand “Dinosaur” after one of the partners, Dino, and an homage to a Hank Williams song. For five years, they traveled throughout the Northeast, serving up delicious bar-b-que at motorcycle shows, fairs, and festivals. Their mission was to provide bikers with a plate of food that they truly deserved, and they believed that Dinosaur Productions could deliver just that.


Syracuse Location Opens

After several years of traveling, the Dinosaur Productions, later changing their name to Dinosaur Concessions, became burned out from life on the road. In 1988, they decided to settle down and established a quick-service lunch and dinner bar-b-que joint in downtown Syracuse, N.Y.


Syracuse Expands

In 1990, the restaurant underwent a significant expansion, tripling in size to accommodate a full bar, full-service dining, and live music. This expansion enabled the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que to become a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.


Rochester Location Opens

Overlooking the picturesque Genesee River at 99 Court St, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Rochester is located in the heart of Rochester in the former Lehigh Valley Railroad Station, built in 1905.


Harlem Location Opens

Situated underneath the Riverside Drive Viaduct at 125th Street in the West Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan, the Harlem Dinosaur Bar-B-Que occupies a two-story brick building close to Harlem’s famous Cotton Club nightclub.


Troy Location Opens

Overlooking the Hudson River, the building underwent a complete redesign before opening as the Troy Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Restaurants in the Historic Downtown District.


Brooklyn Location Opens

Built in 1941, 604 Union St. housed a motor freight company and later the Perfect Steel Rule Die Corp. before becoming the Brooklyn Dinosaur Bar-B-Que.


Buffalo Location Opens

Located in the heart of Buffalo’s Theater District, the Buffalo Dinosaur Bar-B-Que occupies a former vault that stored movies for Universal International Pictures, 301 Franklin Street.

Who knows what’s next!


The Founder

John Stage

John Stage, the founder and owner of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, began his career in cooking out on the open road. In 1983, John and two partners started the business by cutting a 55 gallon drum in half to form a makeshift barbeque and hit the road—catering to motorcycle shows, fairs, and festivals up and down the east coast. In 1988, tired of the nomadic lifestyle, Stage decided to settle in Syracuse, NY, where he opened his first Dinosaur Bar-B-Que restaurant.

In the following years, Stage has expanded with locations in Rochester, Manhattan, Troy, Newark, New Jersey, Brooklyn and Buffalo. Dinosaur Bar-B-Que has gained a reputation far and wide for serving some of the best BBQ in the country with a vibrant and lively setting. Dinosaur Bar-B-Que’s menus are firmly rooted in the traditions of southern barbecue and influenced by flavors that give Dino BBQ’s dishes their own distinctive character. “That’s one of the secrets of great barbecue,” says Stage, “staying committed to tradition, but finding your own stamp and signature.”

John Stage has built Dinosaur Bar-B-Que into a nationally known brand that includes a catering division complete with mobile barbeque rigs. Dinosaur’s line of award-winning BBQ sauces and rubs is available in Whole Foods. Additionally, Stage is the author of a successful cookbook, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que: An American Roadhouse (Ten Speed Press; 2001) that has sold over 175,000 copies and was voted cookbook of the year by the National BBQ Association.

Have questions or inquiries about our 'que or offerings? Our dedicated team is ready to assist you. We're passionate about providing our customers with an exceptional dining experience, and we're always available to provide the support you need.


Six Locations

Dinosaur settled in 1988 in downtown Syracuse, N.Y., as a quick-service lunch/dinner bar-b-que joint. In 1990, the restaurant tripled in size, adding a full bar, full-service dining and live music. Since then, Dinosaur has opened five additional locations: Rochester, NY (1998); Harlem, NY (2004); Troy, NY (2010); Brooklyn, NY (2013) and Buffalo, NY (2014).