North Carolina has lost another classic barbecue joint; Smiley’s Lexington BBQ officially closed this past weekend as a result of the NC DOT widening of Winston Road. Restaurant owner Steve Yountz and his wife, Tena, have no official plans to relocate the restaurant as of now but are not ruling it out either, depending on how much money they get from the state. For now, they are going to take some time to evaluate their options.
The building housing Smiley’s has been a barbecue restaurant for over 70 years and according to Yountz, ““It’s the oldest pit-cooking restaurant in Lexington. We’re still using the original pits.” Before Yountz opened Smiley’s in 2002, it operated as Southern Barbecue from 1963 to 1998 and started as Dan’s in the 1950’s.
This NC DOT project, first announced in 2018 and not set to begin until July 2023, actually has two victims as Speedy’s Barbecue the next block over is also closing due to the road widening.
Through the Preserve the Pit fellowship, Ron Simmons of Master Blend Farms in Kenansville was able to add 56 acres to his family farm and add barbecue catering as a side gig
Big Belly Que in Chapel Hill is pivoting to Italian for the time being
Lechon Latin BBQ is a new-ish, Latin-focused barbecue restaurant at Raleigh’s Triangle Town Center
Noble Smoke’s second location at Optimist Hall opens this Sunday
Congrats to Garren and Kelly from Jon G’s, who 2 years ago on Sunday closed on the former Barbee’s Barbecue location, which they would open in June 2020 just a few months into the pandemic
Texas barbecue James Beard semifinalists
Robert Sietsema’s latest barbecue guide for Eater NY
Juicy Lucia and Di Fara Pizzeria will be located in the former Corner House BBQ on Staten Island
Virgie’s is back
Lewis Barbecue is set to open their Greenville location this summer
Snow’s Barbecue by Robert Jacob Lerma for Huckberry
According to Dave Grohl, salt and pepper is all the rub you need for a great brisket
Aaron Franklin’s Hot Luck Festival is back and has added NC band Superchunk to its music lineup
Here’s a list of the chefs that will be at Hot Luck
Should we call this the Memphis Airport Barbecue Challenge?