‘From Elementary to Prison — Ooh Wee Moments’

Frederick Waller, owner of Ooh Wee Bar-B-Que, stands before his sign.
(photo: D. Culp)

From the thick savory smoke rising off the grills on historic Jefferson St., one can only imagine the tasty treats ahead.
Ooh Wee Bar-B-Que owner Frederick Waller, said that his goal is to spark an ‘Ooh Wee moment’ with seamless service for each customer.

“Ooh Wee Bar-B-Que is a gift from God,” said Waller. “He knew that I didn’t like school and had a hard time fitting into society at first. Today I have all of my necessary credentials and doing it all legally. As a special touch, with each Ooh Wee order we sell, my customers get a dental floss and peppermint to top off their ‘Ooh Wee moment.”

Waller is preparing to have his life story written. It’s titled ‘From Elementary to Prison – Ooh Wee Moments.’ It is a remarkable human interest story which prompts listeners to have that ‘can do spirit.’

He openly shares his gratitude for freedom and success with anyone in earshot. When asked about his past, Waller said: “I’ve been to prison off and on for 18 years for prior drug related crimes including murder and drug dealing. It wasn’t personal, as I had a mandatory, raging drug (heroin and pill) habit to feed. At the time, the crimes I committed took care of that. I’m remorseful for the toll it took on my family and society. Today I am taking care of my family and am a productive member of society, contributing to family and society – not taking from them.”

Waller is also active in his church, being a practicing Jehovah’s Witness. He said that plans are underway for a nonprofit organization, which will further give back to the community. It is going to be a half way house for those experiencing the horrors of drug addiction and street lifestyle.

As for the food, it is ‘fall off the bone good’—but his story carries a real bite too. The menu includes: southern comfort foods, such as chicken gizzards; livers; pulled pork; ‘fall off the bone’ ribs; and chicken and turkey quarters. Side dishes are on the menu as well.

“I saw the spot [where the new restaurant is located] when someone else had it, but I kept hope,” Waller said. “One day I rode by and it was empty and I knew then that the Lord wanted me to have it. I would be the cook and grill at family gatherings, bar-b-ques and such—allowing me much practice for what was coming ahead.”

If he is on site, every customer receives one-on-one interaction and attention to detail for their order. Waller is thorough, knows his products, and the service is genuine.

The prices are affordable, and customers have the option of driving up or ordering online in advance.

As a customer sampled his food, we overheard that familiar catch phrase: “Ooh Wee, it’s good.”