AVON, Ohio — A former Browns defensive lineman–now a barbecue pit master–was tackling hunger Christmas Eve by feeding the less fortunate at his restaurant in Avon.
For 13 seasons Al “Bubba” Baker was known for crushing the opposing teams’ offense, but now the former defensive lineman is known for his BBQ skills off the field. For the 6th year since opening his BBQ joint on Route 83 in Avon, the former Browns player has been feeding the homeless and needy.
“It’s what Christmas is really about, it’s about helping your fellow man and it’s just that simple. That’s what it’s all about, there’s no package you can open that can give you this type of satisfaction for helping another man or women get themselves back on their feet. There’s a feeling about it that I just can’t explain it, and that’s why we are involved,” says the former defensive end.
The 6-foot-6 former all-pro defensive end says his daughter Brittani inspired him to help the less fortunate, so each year the whole family, along with the restaurant’s staff, gets together to cook and serve meals.
“There’s just a lot of needy people and we have a blessed business so we like to give back to people whenever we can,” says Brittani Baker.
“Bubba’s BBQ” fed more than 70 people from the 2100 Lakeside Emergency Men’s Shelter in Cleveland. The men say they loved the Christmas Eve BBQ feast.
“The food was great and what Bubba is doing for us today is really a blessing, and that’s what these holidays are all about so it’s coming from the heart. It’s sincere, and I believe everybody here enjoyed it,” says Anthony D’Onofrio of Cleveland.
Bubba’s also published his first Southern style cookbook and a portion of the proceeds will go to the Cleveland Food Bank.