This is our first feature article on tailgating and we wanted to start with the tailgating veterans of Clubhouse Tailgate

Barbeque Lovers at Clubhouse Tailgate

Barbeque Lovers at Clubhouse Tailgate

Clubhouse Tailgate History

It was 1998 when happenstance and Hokie Hospitality crossed paths to lead us to what we today refer as to the Clubhouse Tailgate. First the happenstance, 1998 found Tailgate originals Jim, Tom, Dean and Larry all assigned parking in “the Cage” a large fenced in lot used for resident student parking. Jim, Tom and Dean were engaged in proper Tailgate activities (grilling meat while consuming adult beverages) out of the back of a pickup truck when Larry and his dogs (Tailgate Rottweiler I, Turbo and Tailgate Cattle Dog I, Sydney) happened to pass by. It was at this point where Hokie Hospitality entered the picture as an offering of grilled meat (to the dogs) led to discussion and then to the reciprocal offer of the use of the restroom facilities in the little 18 foot camper that Larry was using at that time. Over the rest of the 1998 season Jim, Tom and Dean began parking closer and closer to Larry’s little camper, by the end of the season the four were regularly Tailgating together.

During the years since the Tailgate has grown considerably. Jim, a well known writer for popular Virginia Tech websites, brought with him a steady trickle of his readers including Kevin, Ivan, Chip, TJ and Paul. In 2002 happenstance and Hokie Hospitality again intervened. Now relocated to public parking, our growing gang noted with admiration the Tailgating efforts of a gentleman supporting a substantial gathering of students with his home grill, transported on the back of his pickup truck. Over the course of that season Clota moved his operation closer and closer to the 1971 Airstream (christened “the Clubhouse”) that had replaced Larry’s little camper. Hospitality took hold and the Tailgates were merged! Clota brought with him his daughter Rebecca and several of her college friends including Kristy, Robert, and Ryan.

In the years since then the Tailgate has survived 2 changes in parking policy (always a threat to split folks up) and has now grown to include fellow RV’ers Bev and John, Phyllis and Gene, Rhonda and Thomas, and Sue Carol and Keith. The Tailgate has travelled to every Virginia Tech game, home, away, championships and bowls, over the past 4 years. We have Tailgated graduations and we Tailgated Virginia Tech’s official entry to the ACC (we provided the knife that the Commissioner used to cut the cake!). We have twice adorned the front page of the Roanoke Times, and have been featured in news broadcasts and in a recent documentary about Virginia Tech football fans. We have our own web-site and have produced a cookbook that has become a favorite at many Tailgate tables from Massachusetts to Miami, to New Orleans and Nebraska as well. The pregame toast once shared by Jim, Tom Dean and Larry has grown into our pregame “Communion” routinely shared with 40 -50 Tailgaters, and now practiced by other Tailgates as well as ours. While other large tailgates at Virginia Tech have come and gone we have held together and grown. Today a “typical’ Tailgate will feature 4 decades of Virginia Tech graduates gathering together to enjoy the fellowship and Hokie Hospitality that has always been the hallmark of the Clubhouse Tailgate.

A special thanks to Larry and Clota for their help on getting the first feature article completed for Tailgate

Clubhouse Tailgate has been kind enough to allow us to republish several of their favorite tailgating recipes. To see the entire list, just search barbequelovers for the keyword “clubhouse tailgate”.

Best of luck to Clubhouse tailgate as they cheer on Virginia Tech