A traditional southerner, Grandmother Lillie was born and raised in rural South Carolina eventually moving to Greenville, where she raised her two children and was a founding member of her local congregation. She was a beloved “grandmother” to many of the parishioners.
A lifelong Southern Baptist, Lillie sang in the choir and poured her heart and soul into her faith.
Family life centered around the dinner table. Summers in Lillie’s kitchen is where her grandson, Charlie McKenna, found his passion for southern food traditions.
“She was a perfectionist, to say the least. Everything perfect - from how her biscuits turned out to the most delicious chocolate cake,” said Charlie. “Her house was always in perfect order. She was very particular.”
Lillie didn’t just keep a well ordered house. She was a dedicated executive assistant in a large textile company keeping executives on task.
“With grace is how she lived her life. She was one of the most loving and giving people,” said Charlie. “Family and tradition meant the world to her. She was most happy when surrounded by her children, grandchildren and her many brothers and sisters. She made all who her crossed her path feel loved.”
When she passed away in January of 2021, the loss of our matriarch was felt by more than just her family but the many lives she touched throughout her joyful life.
Today, her grandson Charlie continues Lillie’s southern cooking traditions in his restaurants and southern barbeque sauces, rubs and kettle chips.
Lillie’s Q Restaurants
Our flagship restaurant is like a barbeque tour of the American South without the 10-day road trip. Located in the heart of Chicago’s West Town neighborhood, our menu offers elevated Southern favorites that are true to regional traditions and crafted to perfection. From our award-winning smoked pork, tri-tip beef and chicken to our selection of classic sides like fried pickles, mac n’ cheese, boiled peanuts, Brunswick stew, and Grandma Lillie’s famous banana pudding – we’ve got something to delight any barbeque lover.
Lillie’s Q continues to expand with restaurant locations in Wrigley Field, at the United Center and in Destin Florida.