Backyard Grille offers the comforts of home — literally — to customers

Todd Easterday and Lisa Barnhardt-Easterday have moved their backyard as well as nine family members from Columbus, Ohio to Hixson, where they opened their new restaurant Backyard Grille in November.


Todd Easterday and Lisa Barnhardt-Easterday are the owners of Backyard Grille which recently opened in Hixson featuring made-from-scratch family dining and a backyard atmosphere in the space’s former dance floor.

“Columbus was getting a little rough,” said Barnhardt-Easterday, who owned a bar back in Ohio and wanted to open a family-friendly steakhouse elsewhere. “We decided Tennessee was the prettiest place on earth.”

She said every sign pointed them toward Chattanooga and opening a new restaurant, including a chunk of money she inherited from her ex-husband.

The space used as a dance floor by the building’s former occupants has been transformed into a “backyard” (hence the name) with furniture straight from the couple’s own backyard and a slide for children to play on as they wait for a table.

Barnhardt-Easterday said what attracted her most to the building are its fireplace and bar crafted entirely from Tennessee mountain stone.

Serving lunch and dinner, the restaurant specializes in ribs, bone-in rib-eye steaks, brisket, pulled pork and the Backyard Burger, a half-pound certified Black Angus burger with a choice of blue (Barnhardt-Easterday’s pick), American, cheddar, Monterey Jack or mozzarella cheese.

The non-smoking restaurant features an upscale dining section on one side and a sports bar-type atmosphere on the other, with a full bar to open in mid-December along with six big-screen TVs and walls of memorabilia for seven teams.


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