"I was born and raised in Charleston, and went to Eastern."
He also has a long history in the bar and restaurant business.
"We was always in the liquor business; in one end or the other. Had an opportunity back in 1981 to open a place up here on the square. I had that for 12-years or so."
Buying the Blackfront was almost a rescue mission.
"They were condemning it, getting ready to demolish it. We took it over, remodeled it, refurbished it and opened it back up."
And you don't rack up that kind of experience without perfecting at least one special recipe.
"We're famous for our baby backs and our sauce."
The ribs are as good and messy as any I've ever had. And, there's something about the sauce.
"The sauce came from my father-in-law. We named it Norm's, after him. It was his recipe."
There is more to the Blackfront than food, though. The building itself has a bit of a checkered past.
"A lot of things went on; a lot of illegal gambling. I am pretty sure there wasn't any drinking going on, or so they say. We found when we remodeled, we found warning buzzers for the upstairs in case somebody would raid the place."
Just how did they get away with that in a small town?
"I assume the right people were paid off, so to speak."
And, just in case that's not interesting enough, how about a ghost?
"I was in here when nobody else was, and I seen someone standing by the ice machine out of the corner of my eye. I turned around to see who it was and there wasn't anybody there. That was pretty creepy."
As far as the reason for the ghost, there is some speculation.
"The terrible rumor is that someone was walled up down in the basement. You know that Geraldo Rivera thing? We've got one of those rooms."
So, when you visit the Charleston Square, make time for the Blackfront if you enjoy a good story to go along with your meal. The Blackfront has daily lunch and dinner specials. Children are allowed until 9 pm. No guarantees you'll see the ghost.