TOP HAT inducted into Barbecue Hall of Fame

The Alabama Tourism Department has created an Alabama Barbecue Hall of Fame and one Blount County eatery has made the list.

The Top Hat is among 29 establishments that have been open for at least 50 years. The Blount Springs restaurant opened in 1952.

Gov. Robert Bentley announced the list of restaurants yesterday and all 29 will receive a plaque on Monday, June 29, at Golden Rule BBQ in Irondale. Golden Rule is the oldest barbecue restaurant in the state, having opened in 1891.

“The state of Alabama has become a destination for barbecue lovers,” the Governor said in a prepared statement.“The hall of fame provides a way for us to celebrate the iconic restaurants that have made Alabama a tourist attraction.

“Those being recognized are significant members of their communities, and I encourage Alabamians to get out and enjoy the 29 restaurants being honored.”

The Alabama Barbecue Hall of Fame was established as part of the tourism department’s Year of Alabama Barbecue campaign honoring and promoting the state’s barbecue heritage.