Co-founder of Bessinger's BBQ dies at age 89

      A sign on the door of Melvin's in Mt. Pleasant Wednesday. (Matthew LeBlanc/WCIV)

      CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Melvin Bessinger, the founder or co-founder of a handful of the Lowcountry's favorite barbecue restaurants, has died. He was 89.

      Bessinger died Monday.

      Born Aug. 16, 1923, in Orangeburg to Joe Jacob Bessinger and Genora Bessinger, Mr. Bessinger was the co-founder of Joe's Diner in Holly Hill, co-founder of Piggy Park Drive-Ins, co-founder of Bessinger's BBQ and founder and CEO of Melvin's Legendary BBQ.

      He is survived by his wife, a son, Melvin D. Bessinger of Mount Pleasant, and a daughter, Stephanie B. Williams of Gainesville, Ga.

      Mr Bessinger also is survived by six grandchildren.

      Memorials may be sent to The Citadel Brigadier Foundation Inc, 171 Moultrie St., Charleston, according to an obituary.