Charlotte Barbecue News from the Second Quarter of 2021

Monk: In our first quarter wrap-up, I had optimism as things continued to move in a positive direction with vaccinations and the resulting re-opening of restaurants. That mostly continued, and while Charlotte lost a lot of its classic non-barbecue restaurants (Price’s Chicken Coop, Mr. K’s, Oakhurst Grill, Zack’s Hamburgers, etc), I only tracked one barbecue restaurant that closed during that time: the Tyvola Road location of the Sonny’s BBQ chain.

Charlotte barbecue even got some national attention, both of the good (Texas Monthly BBQ Editor Daniel Vaughn visiting and loving Jon G’s) as well as notorious variety (Charlotte as the #3 best city for barbecue according to chefspencil.com).

While we may never know about the barbecue joints that weren’t started during the past year, hopefully a corner has been turned (and the Delta variant of COVID doesn’t wreak havoc here like it has in other countries; get vaccinated people!) and the Charlotte barbecue scene can experience new concepts as well as expansion and growth of its existing ones.

April

4/9 Smoke Show BBQ is a new Texas-style barbecue pop up in the Charlotte area from transplanted Texan chef Brandon Belfer who has worked at fine dining spots The Stanley, Crunkleton, The Asbury, Kindred, and Hello, Sailor

4/12 Charlotte-based Mac’s Speed Shop finds itself coming out of the pandemic in a strong position for growth

4/13 Roddey’s BBQ has changed their lunch hours in Rock Hill to Fridays only

4/19 Jon G’s Barbecue gets in the pit fabrication game

4/26 K&N BBQ makes Axios Charlotte’s list of best food trucks; and they recommend you try the pork and brisket

4/26 Adam Richman (of Man vs Food fame) visits Midwood Smokehouse

4/30 In what was (somewhat embarrassingly) one of the oldest barbecue restaurant’s in Charlotte, the Tyvola Rd. outpost of the Sonny’s BBQ chain closed

May

5/7 Daniel Vaughn ends his NC barbecue trip at Jon G’s Barbecue, where I was fortunate enough to meet both him and Kathleen Purvis and also share a meal with him

5/12 Charlotte is obviously the number 3 Top City for BBQ in the US. No objection here.

5/19 Jon G’s Barbecue gets the highest of praise from the BBQ Snob himself, Daniel Vaughn; Noble Smoke also gets a mention for their brisket

5/25 Phar Mill BBQ introduces itself to the world and will be using a Jon G’s offset smoker

June

6/3 Sweet Lew’s Barbeque announces its new food truck

6/3 Noble Smoke announces details on its 2 year anniversary

6/8 Mac’s Hospitality Group, parent company of Mac’s Speed Shop, adds Rare Roots alum Jay Spungin as Director of Operations

6/19 Congrats to Jon G’s Barbecue on one year open

6/26 Charlotte-based EDIA Maps, makers of The Great NC BBQ Map, ends operations

6/29 And the name of the Sweet Lew’s Barbeque food truck is…Sweet Lucille

Linkdown: 5/26/21

Featured

Based on the book of the same name by Jessica B. Harris, “High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America” examines the contributions of African American cooking to today’s modern cuisine. The series is four episodes, each lasting roughly an hour, and while the fourth episode focuses on barbecue I won’t be skipping straight to it. This is definitely a series I want to watch as its presented in its entirety.

“High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America” is available to watch now on Netflix.

Native News

This is so cool to see: Jon G’s Barbecue getting the highest of praise from the BBQ Snob himself, Daniel Vaughn; Prime Barbecue and Noble Smoke also get mentions for their brisket

Woodard Family BBQ is a “Hidden Gem of Fayetteville” (though its closer to Sanford) in this new series from the Fayetteville Observer

Non-Native News

Everything old is new again

Home Team BBQ continues its expansion

Behold, the predecessor to True Cue

Friday Find: Interview with Daniel Vaughn, BBQ snob and editor of TMBBQ

Twitter user @KevinsBBQJoints (Kevin Kelly) has been interviewing various barbecue personalities and posting videos for the past half-year, but I just stumbled upon his YouTube page. Here’s his video interview of Daniel Vaughn, but he’s got many more with Jess Pryles, Nick Solares, Amy Mills, J.C. Reid, and more.

My interview with Texas Monthly Magazine Barbecue Editor Daniel Vaughn discussing a variety of topics including how he got into BBQ, why he started his blog Full Custom Gospel BBQ, how he landed a book deal with Anthony Bourdain’s imprint Ecco Press, how he got his job as Barbecue Editor, his favorite BBQ books, favorite BBQ joints and more.

Linkdown: 1/7/15

– More on the closing of Jimmy’s Barbecue, whose closing “signals change with barbecue” in the Lexington area

The closure of Jimmy’s continues a change in the local barbecue scene. Five years ago, seven restaurants participated in the annual Barbecue Festival. The closing of John Wayne’s Barbecue and Whitley’s Barbecue dropped the number to five, and now it will fall to four. The remaining restaurants and festival organizers may want to consider adding some of the county’s other barbecue restaurants to gain more manpower and food for the annual event.

– Yahoo! Travel calls The Barbecue Festival in Lexington the “can’t-miss event” in North Carolina

– Red, Hot, and Blue is opening a second RDU location, this time in Cary

A look back at the Kansas City bbq scene in 2014 (h/t @mossr)

A Reuter’s article on Daniel Vaughn, BBQ snob, from a few week’s back

“When I saw him walking up, I was a bit nervous. He can make or break a business,” said Matt Proctor, the pit master and owner of Stillwater.

– Is this guy (the so-called “brisket bandit”) kind of like the Robin Hood of brisket? Update: looks like he’s been caught as of Monday

– Speaking of brisket, it is more expensive than ever

– Our review posted earlier this week, but here are 8 things you need to know about The Improper Pig from Charlotte Five

– The SC BBQ Trail now has an interactive map:

– File this under “The More You Know”: