Linkdown: 10/6/21

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Recently, friend of the blog John Tanner (of John Tanner’s Barbecue Blog) ate his way across the piedmont of North Carolina while making stops on the NC Historic Barbecue Trail in honor of the late Jim Early. Early was the founder of the North Carolina Barbecue Society and driving force behind the NC Historic Barbecue Trail.

Notably, he makes a stop at our friends at Bar-B-Q King in Lincolnton where he delights in the “hollerin’ orders” system and has a great meal. Follow John’s journey below.

Native News

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s BBQ Bowl Week

Non-Native News

Has Texas Brisket Peaked?

Speaking of brisket, Tales from the Pits unveils their top 5 barbecue spots in Texas

The 38th Annual Collard & BBQ Festival was held this past weekend in Gaston, SC

Husk Barbeque in Greenville, SC closed earlier this week

What you can expect at Virgil’s Real Barbecue in Las Vegas

The legend of Joe Burney

Black Smoke cookout and book signing next Sunday in Denver

Southern Soul’s Firebox BBQ Festival was held this past weekend; notice anything about the photo?

Linkdown: 8/25/21

After taking the summer off to recap Food Network’s BBQ Brawl, we’re back with our weekly rundown of barbecue news. We start by first celebrating the fantastic folks over at Bar-B-Q King in Lincolnton, who we featured on the blog earlier this week ahead of their big 50th anniversary coming up September 1.

At the risk of repeating myself, its fantastic to be celebrating a milestone in longevity as opposed to mourning the closing of yet another classic NC barbecue joint, which Kathleen Purvis so eloquently did in a story for Garden & Gun in 2019 (third link). Let’s hope it continues to be more of the former and less of the latter.

Native News

The Charlotte Observer covers Bar-B-Q King’s upcoming 50th anniversary

…as does WBTV who had owners Steve and Keith on TV

..which is a nice contrast from this story from Kathleen Purvis originally from 2 years ago

Buxton Hall Barbecue reopened last week with brisket on the menu (but thankfully keeping whole hog on as well)

Southern Smoke BBQ is collaborating with Wilmington’s Flying Machine Brewing Company on an upcoming beer

Mac’s Speed Shop is expanding to Fort Mill

Cheerwine has some thoughts

After founder Jim Early’s passing earlier this year, the North Carolina Barbecue Society plans to keep things moving

Non-Native News

Congrats to Fox Bros Bar-B-Q on 14 years!

Jiyeon Lee of Heirloom Market BBQ discusses their Korean-influenced sides

John Tanner checks in at The Federalist Pig in DC, whose upcoming Hyattsville location will smoke with all wood

Both Martin’s and Peg Leg Porker make this diary of Nick Solares

Eddie Jackson describes Flay as a “mentor” and “great friend” after working with him on BBQ Brawl

Speaking of BBQ Brawl, ICYMI from last week

Bar-B-Q King Celebrates 50 Years This September

Monk: In an era where North Carolina barbecue fans are more worried about classic barbecue joints closing, it’s quite heartening to see when one is instead celebrating a landmark in it’s longevity. On September 1, Lincolnton’s Bar-B-Q King (not to be confused with the BBQ King drive-thru in Charlotte) celebrates their 50th anniversary. Fifty!

In September 1971, Steve and Becky Abernethy opened a barbecue restaurant to fill a need in the local Lincolnton food landscape, serving Lexington-style barbecue and fresh hand-pattied burgers. In the early 2000s, they brought on long-time employee Keith Smith on as partner. The operation has continued to be a family deal as Steve and Becky’s daughter Stephanie as well as Keith’s sons Jordan and Jared all work there today. Stephanie and Jordan are even engaged to be married next year. It’s all quite lovely.

In celebration of their 50th anniversary on September 1st they’re throwing back the price of their regular bbq sandwich to $1.99. Any customers who visit them on September 1st will also receive a free 50th anniversary cup and sticker.

They’ll also have sweet new 50th anniversary shirts for purchase as well. I’m digging them and hope to be able to snag one myself.

I’ve visited Bar-B-Q King a couple of times over the past few years and am a huge fan. They are of course a family-owned business that serves the Lincolnton community and they’ve got this unique “hollerin’ orders” system where once orders are placed at the register they are literally yelled to the kitchen staff in the back. It’s quite the sight to behold, and they celebrate it on their cups and t-shirts – “50 years of hollerin’ orders.”

I also profiled Jordan Smith early last year if you want to get his perspective on the family business.

In a period where classic NC barbecue joints are more often than not closing, let’s take the opportunity to celebrate Bar-B-Q King. Congrats on 50 years, and here’s to another 50!

Bar-B-Q King is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 9pm. They celebrate their 50th anniversary on September 1st.

Charlotte Barbecue News from the First Quarter of 2021

Monk: After nearly a year of various stages of lockdown and a big spike in COVID cases in January, the first quarter of 2021 had mostly positive news as restaurants managed through relaxed restrictions starting in March.

Here in Charlotte, restaurants are finding new and different ways to diversify their food offerings to attract customers and some are even in expansion mode. Let’s hope that trend continues into Q2.

January

1/5 North State BBQ announces it is opening a second location in Lake Norman off Statesville Rd

1/10 RayNathan’s in Gastonia celebrated their 2 year anniversary

1/13 Sweet Lew’s BBQ hires its first “barbecue apprentice” in Keywon Dooling from the local culinary school at Central Piedmont Community College

1/29 Jon G’s Barbecue gets their first national magazine feature

February

2/7 Pitmasters from Bobby’s BBQ, City Limits Barbeque, and Fork Grove BBQ have a “barbecue Saturday Texas BBQ Pitmaster Meatman meat-up” meet up at Jon G’s Barbecue

2/12 Jon G’s Barbecue introduces some awesome Coors Banquet Beer-inspired t-shirts

2/15 Noble Smoke launches taco kits now available every Tuesday

2/16 Bar-B-Q King makes this list of “50 must-try cheap eats in Charlotte under $10” from Axios Charlotte (formerly Charlotte Agenda)

2/24: Axios Charlotte posts their list of the 4 best barbecue spots in Charlotte, with another 4 worth the drive; we even get a brief shoutout in reference to Jon G’s

March

3/1 Jon G’s Barbecue acquired their restaurant one year ago on 3/1; they would open for business about 3 months later

3/2 Roddey’s BBQ food truck in Rock Hill changes locations

3/3 Noble Smoke introduces the “Mini Mary,” a smaller version of their “Miss Mary” platter that feeds 4

3/4 Sweet Lew’s Barbeque and Midwood Smokehouse make the Eater list for Charlotte

3/9 Mac’s Speed Shop and Noble Smoke have two of the best patios in Charlotte

3/12 Sweet Lew’s Barbeque announces a “Bootcamp and BBQ” event on April 17

3/19 Noble Smoke introduces “The Noble Smoke Pitmaster Experience” where you can learn from their pitmasters for the somewhat steep price of $500 a spot; the initial spots have since sold out

We are offering an exclusive opportunity to learn the step-by-step process of smoking meat first-hand from our pitmasters, Stuart and Ed. You get to take home the meats of your labor which includes a whole brisket and pork butt (5 lbs each). But that’s not all! 3 sauces, a hat, a pitmaster t-shirt, lunch, and a post-smoke beer are also included.

3/19 Charlotte-based Mac’s Hospitality Group, the parent company of Mac’s Speed Shop, eyes growth across the Southeast in the Carolinas, Tennessee and Florida under the leadership of recently-hired president Shang Skipper

3/19 Crave Hot Dogs & BBQ will open a location of its fast casual concept in Concord in the coming weeks