Beloved ‘Barbecue Man’ in Hall County receives big surprise from loyal customers

HALL COUNTY, Ga. — For years, Albert O’Neal cooked on a very old grill. His friends and loyal customers decided he needed an upgrade.

O’Neal says he learned his barbecue craft from one of the best.

“My grandfather. When I was a kid, I helped him do whatever he needed to do in the kitchen. He showed me and taught me how to cook pretty much everything,” said O’Neal.

70 years later, the Louisiana native is known across Hall County for his barbecue.

“This is the most kind-hearted person. Every time I say something about him, I tear up. Most kind-hearted, sweetest person I have ever met,” said Jennifer Sudderth, customer and friend.

Sudderth noticed that O’Neal’s cooking equipment was past its prime. She organized a fundraiser to get him a “first-class smoker” and a place to park it at Cloudland Winery.

“I tell him he has to tuck his wings under his shirt before he goes out every day. He’s an angel of a man,” said Sean Wilborn of Cloudland Winery.

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O’Neal, being from Louisiana, affectionately calls his business “Who Dat Barbecue.”

“Who dat! That’s the word we use back home. I did that slogan for my barbecue,” said O’Neal.

The new smoker was a complete but pleasantly-welcomed surprise for O’Neal.

“I just love to cook. I was by myself, but I had all these people around me all the time. But it’s through God, no other way. Too many blessings at one time,” said O’Neal.

O’Neal will christen his new smoker this weekend.