Since 1974 Leo’s BBQ has been a staple for great food in Oklahoma City, and now they’ve got a new home, in the new Homeland located on Northeast 36th Street and Lincoln Boulevard.
“I’m so grateful for all those memories, but I can take those wherever I go, because it’s time to move forward,” said Charles Smith owner of Leo’s BBQ.
From his childhood, Smith was groomed by his father to take over the iconic business. His dad was extremely hard on him teaching him lessons to help succeed. Lessons that still impact him today.
“When my dad died in 1994, it was Leo and Son, I had Edmond and Norman, and when he died I dropped son and just made it Leo’s,” said Smith.
Charles acknowledges he’s made some mistakes, but he has put his everything into making the business work.
“I’ve fallen off ladders, I feel like Evel Knievel or Humpty Dumpty. I’ve dislocated both my shoulders; both my feet are fractured from trying to keep the place together,” said Smith.
Those repair days are now long gone for Smith.
“We have family ties with Homeland now. So, we’re part of the Homeland family. They believe in us, and I believe in them,” said Smith.
Smith is absolutely loving the partnership.
“They armed me to succeed. They gave me the things I need to keep going without working on the building like I was doing on 36th and Kelley,” said Smith.
Now the ribs, the sides, and of course the famous strawberry-banana cake are all fresh and available at the new Homeland store.
“We are just elated to be here at Homeland and whatever we are going through we are going through with Homeland,” said Smith.
At this time Smith isn’t sure what he will do with the original Leo’s location. He has contemplated doing upgrades and making it available for small community gatherings.