Three Li’l Pigs, which has been serving up hickory-smoked barbecue for three decades, is ushering in new ownership.

Founders Bill and Dremma Gaul announced on Oct. 1 that they were retiring but would be leaving the popular Daleville restaurant in good hands.

Employee Brian Tyree, who’s been their right-hand man, is taking over and plans to carry on their legacy.

“It’s an amazing opportunity for me,” said Tyree, adding he has no plans to diverge from Three Li’l Pigs’ successful formula.

“Everything already works so well,” he said. “We have a great customer base, and I don’t want to mess with that.”

Three Li’l Pigs first opened in 1990 in the Roanoke City Market Building before making the move to the Botetourt Commons center, near Kroger off Roanoke Road, in 2003.

Former President George H.W. Bush famously made an impromptu stop to sample the restaurant’s barbecue in 2006 while driving through the region.

For the Gauls, that is one of countless memories made over the years. In a message posted on Facebook, the couple said they couldn’t have imagined how many friendships they would make, from loyal customers to longtime employees and beyond.

“The memories and connections have been endless at this place, and we are blessed to have experienced all of it,” they wrote.

The Gauls added they were happy to be passing the torch onto someone who knew the restaurant and its customers.

“We may be retiring, but ‘The Pig’ is just getting started!” they wrote. “Thank you to everyone who has made our dream possible, and we look forward to watching it be around for a long time to come.”

Three Li’l Pigs, located at 120 Kingston Drive in Daleville, is open daily and offers a menu that features barbecue, wings, burgers, salads and more.

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