Let me give a quick shout-out this morning to Johnny's Bar-B-Q at 1401 4th St. SW in Cullman. In short, I would say that it is a Big Bob's look-alike but with catfish!
The vibe is similar. Family owned for decades. Casual. Popular with the locals. Vintage interior decor.
The name "Johnny's" refers to the man who started the business -- Johnny Graves. Troy and Aleata Wiggins bought it in 1963. Health issues forced Troy to step aside in 1983, and his son Gary took the reins. Today, Johnny's Bar-B-Q is in the capable hands of Gary and his son Josh.
Sides are very similar to Big Bob's, except Johnny's offers onion rings and hushpuppies. I am a huge fan of Big Bob's Brunswick stew, so I will have to do a taste comparison with the stew served at Johnny's.
Johnny's Bar-B-Q offers catfish -- whole or filets -- which is very good, lightly breaded and fried. They also have open-face pork roast sandwiches, hamburger steak, and chicken fingers.
For dessert, Johnny's has five kinds of pie on the menu, along with banana pudding and peach cobbler. But, it must be noted that the pie served at Johnny's is NOT homemade. No one shows up at 6:00 a.m. to bake pies in Johnny's kitchen.
Big Bob's is open 7 days a week. Johnny's is open Tuesday to Saturday.
I can see why Cullman is loyal to Johnny's while Decaturites are partial to Big Bob's. I suggest you try them both and decide for yourself.