“I was told that Everett and Jones has its own unique smell,” Shirley Everett-Dicko said about the longstanding restaurant that began in Oakland in 1973. That unique smell comes from a brick oven fueled by oak wood and filled with barbecued meats – and 50 years of family and community.
Family, history, beef links, brisket, and barbecue sauce are all on display in honor of the 50th anniversary of Everett and Jones at a small exhibit inside the Oakland Asian Cultural Center in Chinatown. “7th Street’s Secret Sauce: Celebrating Everett and Jones Barbeque’s 50-Year Legacy” is a free exhibit and open to the public, and previously toured throughout California showcasing sauces, video footage, and photos of the family. The exhibit is on display through September 25th.
Everett and Jones family historian Everett-Dicko says this year is most important as the family celebrates the legacy of their mother Dorothy Turner Everett. The loss of two sisters, Dorothy King-Jernegan and Mary Everett in 2021 took a toll on the family, so celebrating the women of the family for the 50th was especially important.
Everett-Dicko says while one large celebration is typical, having smaller jubilations over the course of a year was more appropriate and possibly continuing through March 2024, one year after the celebrations began. “We said we’re taking the whole year. We made 50, so the whole year is ours,” Everett-Dicko told Oakland Voices.
“Every Christmas, he gave my mom a Peking duck…and mom would always send sweet potato pie to his Christmas table,” Shirley Everett-Dicko, the Everett and Jones Barbeque family historian said.
Photo of Harry Mock, courtesy of Everett-Dicko.
Hosting the exhibit at the OACC has significance in bringing to light the connection members in the Asian community have to the restaurant. Harry Mock, owner of a wholesale meat company, was instrumental in supporting Everett with opening up the first restaurant and giving her the first line of credit, according to Everett-Dicko. “Every Christmas, he gave my mom a Peking duck…and mom would always send sweet potato pie to his Christmas table,” she said.
In March 2023 during Women’s History Month, the barbeque mavens kicked off the year long festivities by acknowledging other women in barbeque with an exhibit at the Joyce Gordon gallery with work from Janet Barnes, Zoe Boston, Virginia Jourdan and Bahiya Spaulding showcasing women in the kitchen. Then later in the month, ”The Queens of BBQ” discussion was held at African American Museum and Library (AAMLO), which featured a screening of historic footage and panel discussion. The Brickhouse Gallery & Art Complex in Sacramento hosted an art exhibit with illustrations from Everett-Dicko’s proposed book, Brickhouse, in July.
With 50 years, there are many stories the family wants to share. The second location on San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley still uses its original brick pit oven, now 49 years old.
One story Everett-Dicko recalled when singer Lou Rawls was on tour and called in an order just before closing. The owners kept their doors open for the baritone singer – but only after he sang to them over the phone to prove his identity.
Throughout the years, many big names have come through the doors of their restaurant. Whoopi Goldberg, John Madden, and Jamie Foxx have all walked through the doors of Everett and Jones, lending to the legacy of Oakland’s go-to location for barbeque. The E-40 and Too Short music video “Money Motivated” was filmed in part at the Jack London location. The pictures of many celebrities, politicians, and more line the walls of each restaurant. The exhibit at the OACC includes some of these pictures from the family archive.
Everett-Dicko is also clear about sharing stories as a Black woman, in a field that is largely seen as male-dominated. She explained it was frustrating as a woman in the business and that being left out of the narrative. “Your mama probably told you how to cook,” she said about how few women barbeque pitmasters are reflected in the media.
This is mostly important because the legacy of Everett and Jones began with a woman: Everett-Dicko’s mother, Dorothy Turner Everett, who migrated to California with three daughters in tow in 1952. Their late mother was a cook on 7th Street at Jenkins Bar-B-Q and later, the original Flint’s Barbeque. In the 1970s, divorced, a mother of 9 children, and with $700 in her pocket, Dorothy Turner Everett opened her first restaurant next to the East Bay Dragons bike club.
Everett’s nine children, Annie, Dorothy Jr., George, Helen, Mary, Sarah, Shirley, Yolanda and son-in-law James E. Jones, have maintained the independently owned Everett and Jones, passing down barbeque recipes to the next generation of mostly women. Having a large family has been a benefit to the business, Everett-Dicko said, citing it as the reason they’ve been able to open so many restaurants because “we had the staff to go and operate another one.”
Everett & Jones now has two locations in Oakland, as well as locations in Berkeley, Antioch, and Graton Casino in Santa Rosa.
While the restaurants have had their ups and downs over the years, which included experiencing two break ins during Oakland restaurant week in May 2023, there are no plans to stop. Everett-Dicko says love is what makes the business and their sauces special. “She had a dream, she had nine kids and she just wanted to be able to feed them. So with barbeque, we would always have something to eat,” Everett-Dicko said. “And then her children, we picked up on that dream.”
“7th Street’s Secret Sauce: Celebrating Everett and Jones Barbeque’s 50-Year Legacy,” an exhibit about the legacy of Everett and Jones, is on display until September 25 at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center, located at 388 Ninth St., Suite 290. The exhibit can be viewed by the public during OACC’s business hours Wednesday through Saturday from 12-5 p.m. Visit Everett and Jones Barbeque’s website, Instagram or Facebook for information about upcoming events.