The restaurant is named after Mark Coates' grandmother Bebe. Bebe’s mother was known in her time in Greenville as Mama Chad (short for Chadwick) and was the great matriarch of her clan. She left a tremendous legacy of wonderful receipes, which has been passed down through four generations of her progeny. Bebe learned to cook this food in her mother’s boarding house kitchen, in Greenville MS, during the Great Depression. Bebe describes her mother as a very kind and generous person, and of the highest degree of quality and good taste, when it came to cooking. Bebe passed along these traditions to Mark when he was a small child growing up in central Mississippi, and she is still cooking to this very day.
When Mark was contemplating this venture into the food business, he knew from the start, both the name and the location he wanted to use. The rest has been a work in progress, but with the help of a couple of friends, the food has been fabulous. Tamara Van Winkle has been on board from the very first day, and has been the backbone of the operation in many ways, tirelessly cooking and cleaning and serving and planning and cooking and cleaning and……………well, you get the idea.
Tamara Van Winkle is a self taught cook who attributes her love of barbecue to Philly’s long hot summers. “The idea of turning up the AC to roast some meat seemed a waste of energy. So I’d build a big fire in my Weber and cook everything I needed with leftovers in mind.” When she met Mark Coates, her best friend Heather’s boyfriend, she was introduced to the Carolina style of barbecue. Opening Bebe’s seemed like the perfect way to bring something new to the Italian Market. One of her other food passions is making soups. Maybe some soup specials will show up on the menu when the weather turns cooler. “Bebe’s will always be about barbecue, but we have some talented cooks here who like to experiment and we look forward to sharing new things with our customers.”