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Venice’s Gold Rush BBQ Celebrating 17 Years of Success

Venice’s Gold Rush BBQ Celebrating 17 Years of Success

| Sande Caplin |

Who doesn’t love barbeque?  Or, an easier to assess question might be who does not love barbeque?  I mean, it is one of the best culinary expressions that I know of, and one that almost always coexists in a place of family, fun, and shared comradery.  Basted in pools of thick sauce that are born of tomatoes, vine-ripened and sun-kissed, married with zesty herbs and vegetables, you will find mounds of tender baby-back ribs and chicken.

Best of Venice RestaurantSeasoned chicken whose aroma nearly exceeds its succulent, juicy taste is paired with homemade salads and fluffy cornbread.  Friends and neighbors are gathered in a unique and inviting atmosphere that begs the lucky visitor to sit back and have another plate of ribs or slice of peanut butter pie.  Sounds good, doesn’t it?  Reminds you that the sun is setting on summer and we should gather those around us for one last hurrah.   Backyard enthusiasts take heart, because we know the love you feel and put forth with a BBQ spread on a Saturday afternoon feels seasonal and fleeting. There is a place where you can reach the pinnacles of summer and the grandiose experiences of a magnificent BBQ meal every day, and if you live in Venice, or on planet earth, you have visited Gold Rush BBQ.  There you will find that a good conversation, pleasant atmosphere, and the best damn barbeque in Southwest Florida is available year-round.

You can tell the instant character and feel of a restaurant by walking in. If you’ve done your research, your expectations will be matched or exceeded based upon reviews of prior visitors.  Your checklist of an “A” grade after that might include the following:  Cleanliness?  A must.  Acknowledgement and friendliness of staff?  Please.  Pleasant and organized esthetics, as in lack of clutter, updated furnishings, and easy work-flow as to not disturb the diners?  Yes, let me forget my daily grind while you wine and dine me in organized paradise.  And, lastly, let the food we eat be worth our money, time, effort, and help us to make memories so we come back again and again.  Gold Rush BBQ delivers on all of these must haves.  

gr1Gold Rush BBQ is the dynamic culmination of three friends destined to become family.  Robert Overholser, Patrick Caudill and his wife Susan knew they wanted a joint venture that involved great food and a cool ambiance.  They loved the idea of setting up shop in beautiful Sarasota County, and after much research, testing recipes, and planning they opened their doors 17 years ago.  They knew good barbeque would bring people together, and a tasty, consistent product would keep them coming in.  Since then, they have been bringing their own families and friends into their organization that boasts employees who have been working for them since Day 1.  Yes, that’s right, a company that has extremely low turnover and is not often advertising for “help wanted” sounds like a dinosaur in today’s times but they do exist, and Gold Rush BBQ is a prime example of that.  Their culture is one of promote from within and one that values customer service so much that when a rare opening occurs, the new candidate must thoroughly learn the ropes before taking their first order.  

BBQ Dinner with all of the fixinsNow let’s talk food.  Here’s where it gets quite delectable.  Daily specials including “all you can eat” baby back ribs, a popular Tuesday night tradition around Sarasota County, leave customers so satisfied they make plans for the following week before they even finish this week’s meal.  A crisp, cucumber salad and fork-tender, tasty ribs will have you smiling from ear to corn-on-the-cob ear.  Need an end-of-the-week easy dinner choice?  How about fresh and mouth-watering Friday night catfish dinners?  Need a reminder of Sundays at Grandma’s where uncles gathered around the smoke pit and aunts prepared creamy cold salads to be eaten under the old willow tree?  Sundays at Gold Rush allow you to enjoy a hearty BBQ Chicken dinner, with all the fixings, including their popular baked pineapple and cheese for a smooth, palatable side.  Oh, the choices are plentiful and the food is too.  Save some room for dessert and have some key lime pie, you are in Venice, FL after all.  A spice cookie sandwich might be good to take for lunch the next day, and you know an ice cream brick is always a great late-night accompaniment to chatting with your most-beloved people.  

Do you think eating BBQ is foregoing a healthy, nutritional diet?  Well, think again.  One of the many surprises you will find at Gold Rush BBQ is their sugar free BBQ sauce, one which is bottled and sold to a growing market of consumers who enjoy an alternative to sauces with excessive sugar and fat contents.  Flavored with all-natural stevia, with no chemical components, just the true Mother Nature produced gem that it was meant to be, people cannot believe how delicious this sauce is.  But, Gold Rush BBQ is cornering the market on this exciting product, being one of the only restaurants in Sarasota County to offer it.  

If you are new to Gold Rush BBQ, you are in the minority of people denying themselves a superior BBQ experience.  If you’re a regular you will scoff at the notion that there are still people in this stratosphere who haven’t smelled the BBQ cooking.   And that it is served in a clean, friendly, fun atmosphere is the icing on their Dynamite Cake, for the “gold rush” also exists in the cool mining pans that many of the dishes are served in and the rocks and mining supplies you can dream about and procure.  You will know you have struck gold when you dine at Gold Rush BBQ.  The experience Is as comfortable as a relaxing day with friends, tasty as the best BBQs from North Carolina to Texas, and including Florida, and as engaging as mining for gold on what may be your luckiest day ever.  For daily specials and menu information, please visit

 Photos courtesy of Gold Rush BBQ

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