The menu isn't limited to ribs. Fried chicken and fish, pork chops and chicken wings are all available as baskets with fries and coleslaw or as a dinner with two side dishes and homemade cornbread, bread or a roll.
The Sistah Dog, a Polish sausage with mustard and fried green peppers and onions is a holdover from her original restaurant's menu.
"We called it the Chow Dog then, and the first customer I ever had ordered it," Sales said.
Sistah's location in a reputably rough neighborhood might cause some customers to shy away, but Sales said she hasn't had any trouble. Neither have her customers.
A self-taught cook, Sales isn't afraid to try new dishes. She recently learned to make peach cobbler. It's on the menu, along with banana pudding.
She's thinking about adding pulled pork to her menu after she saw how popular it was at a recent event she catered for 300 people. Customer requests for Texas-style brisket might prompt her to give that a try.
"I listen to my customers. If you don't like it, I want you to tell me," she said. "If you want something that isn't on the menu, call ahead and ask about it."
Calling ahead is a good idea anyway. Meals are carryout only, unless customers dine at the red umbrella-topped tables and chairs out front. The tables and chairs are made from cable spools donated by Frontier after she spotted them when she catered an event there.
On occasion, Sistah's offers free lemonade and iced tea. Kids always get a free Freeze pop.
"I think I do that because it reminds me of our neighbor growing up. They always had popsicles or watermelon," she said. "I guess that's what I do with my food, too. I try to have food that makes people reminisce about good family food."
Sistah's Rib Shack, 1717 Seventh Ave., is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Closed Sunday and Monday. Call 304-346-7427.
Reach Julie Robinson at jul...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1230.