Linkdown: 2/9/22

I covered this on the Facebook page briefly a few weeks back, but Smiley’s Lexington BBQ has officially announced its closing due to the NCDOT widening of Winston Road in Lexington. This widening was first announced in 2018 with a start date in summer 2020 but had likely been delayed due to the pandemic.

While owner Steve Yountz is not ready to retire just yet, per him “right now there is no definite plans on relocating as far as availably and affordability.” Patrons will have until February 26 to dine at the current location of Smiley’s before it closes its doors for good.

Nearby barbecue restaurant Speedy’s is also expected to close as a result of the road widening, however they are more optimistic about reopening in a new location and plan to rebuild and relocate, depending on the compensation they receive from DOT.

While the optimist in me hopes that both restaurants are able to relocate and continue business in due time, I worry that by next month we will be down two more classic NC barbecue joints.

Native News

A helpful post from Grady’s

Non-Native News

Applications for the Preserve the Pit fellowship are due March 1st

Tim Carman of The Washington Post comes out with his annual barbecue list, with the wrinkle of releasing it in the winter time when some joints are closed

Carman also mourns the loss of pitmaster Corries Hardy

Rodney Scott and Eric Church getting into the honkey tonk game, and bringing whole hog to Broadway at Chief’s

Loro’s second location opens in Houston later this month

J.C. Reid on the evolution of the “Texas Trinity”

Roegels Barbecue opened their Katy location last week

Eater NY critic Robert Sietsema finds Myron Mixon’s Hoboken restaurant to be mixed in quality

Linkdown: 1/5/22

ICYMI, Kevin’s BBQ Joints rounded up from over 120 barbecue personalities what made barbecue so special to them. We were honored that Kevin asked us to be a part of this fantastic project. While some folks focused on their earliest barbecue memories, both Rudy and I focused our answers on bites that broadened our barbecue horizons from more than just the chopped pork they grew up on in NC. Definitely worth a read.

Native News

Ayden, NC (home to Skylight Inn and Bum’s) unveils new marketing campaign: “‘Que Marks the Spot”

Noble Smoke is the only barbecue restaurant on Charlotte Magazine’s annual list of the 50 best restaurants in Charlotte

Grady’s is closed until late January for their well-deserved “winter rest”

Lawrence Barbecue as well as Lewis Barbecue in Charleston gets some love from Eater Carolinas contributors on this “Best Restaurant Meal of 2021” post

Thankfully, Pik-N-Pig’s closure will only be temporary and they aim to reopen ths year

Huli Sue’s BBQ and Grill in Asheville serves a “Hawaiian influenced take on Texas barbecue along with some other island-esque plates”

ICYMI, the Jon G’s Barbecue x Salud Beer Shop/Salud Cerveceria pizza collaboration is happening now

Non-Native News

Barbecue options in Birmingham

Blake’s BBQ photo progress update from late December

From Lifehacker: “With my Weber, I smoked a little, grilled a lot, and learned even more—and I’d like to share my favorite dishes (and lessons) with you now, in no particular order. This is what my grill taught me over the past year.”

From last month, RIP John Mueller

Linkdown: 9/22/21

Featured

Congrats to the Red Bridges Barbecue family! Lyttle Bridges Cabaniss (aka “Mama B”), who was the wife of “Red” that took over the business after he passed in 1966 and served as the matriarch of the family until she passed in 2008, was posthumously inducted into the Barbecue Hall of Fame at this past weekend’s American Royal in Kansas City, MO.

Lyttle Bridges is considered to be the first woman barbecue entrepreneur in North Carolina and while her husband Red is the namesake of the restaurant, she was the guiding force behind it, reportedly working from 8am to 9pm nearly every day before handing over the restaurant to her daughter Debbie Bridges-Webb and then her grandkids Natalie Ramsey and Chase Webb at the age of 80. Those three all accepted the award on her behalf this past weekend, which surely must have been a blast.

Congratulations to Lyttle Bridges Cabaniss and the rest of the 2021 Barbecue Hall of Fame inductees!

More on Bridges at the following links:

Native News

Noble Smoke announced its second location will be a stall at the Optimist Hall food hall

More coverage on the stall from Axios Charlotte

The Redneck BBQ Lab announces Mercedes Harris as its new CEO of its food truck and catering arm

Grady’s and Wilber’s gets a mention in this article on Goldsboro from WRAL

Picnic has one of the best burgers in the Triangle according to Eater Carolinas

Non-Native News

After its North Charleston sister restaurant closed after 67 years, the Orangeburg Duke’s BBQ affirms that it is “not going nowhere”

The Tales from the Pits crew unveils #20-11 in their Texas barbecue rankings

NC whole hog in Maine? John Tanner investigates for The Smoke Sheet

Linkdown: 5/5/21

Featured

Congrats to the first class of Kingsford Charcoal’s Preserve the Pit Fellowship. If you recall, the winners of this inaugural class will receive a “grant along with immersive training and one-on-one mentorship with industry leaders throughout 2021 to turn their business aspirations into a reality.” And it’s an impressive list of mentors from which they’ll get advice: Kevin Bludso, Dr. Howard Conyers, Devita Davison, Bryan Furman, Rashad Jones and Amy Mills. I look forward to seeing what happens for each of these fellows as a result of this direct mentorship. The winners ae:

  • Cory & Tarra Davis – Grand Rapids, Mich.: Owners of Daddy Pete’s BBQ since 2012, Cory and Tarra Davis have a passion for barbecue that they share with their friends, family and community. Through the fellowship, their goal is to build a stronger foundation for their business operations to ensure their restaurant continues to successfully operate beyond their generation.
  • Chef Shalamar Lane – Carson, Calif.: As the head chef and owner of My Father’s Barbeque, Shalamar brings southern hospitality to California by using delicious barbecue as a way to bring people together. As a result of the mentorship, she hopes to improve her management skills to further her business’ success and continue to teach her employees and community about the history of barbecue.
  • Ronald Simmons – Kenansville, N.C.: Ronald and his family own Master Blend Family Farms, LLC, which provides whole hogs and premium pork products to restaurants and private owned businesses in his community. They’ve hosted farm tours in collaboration with several local schools and hope to transition one of the farms, which has been in the family for over a century, into a farm school and develop a whole hog barbecue station to share their heritage of barbecue and create a path of opportunity for future generations.

And in more good news, the response to the initial call for fellows was so overwhelming that an additional 10 pitmasters were selected to receive a one-time $7,500 grant. Those winners are:

  • Melissa Cottingham – Melnificent Wingz (Los Angeles, Calif.)
  • Aaron Gonerway – Plates By the Pound BBQ (Denver, Colo.)
  • Pamela Henry – Pam’s Magic Cauldron (Smyrna, Ga.)
  • Daniel Hammond – Smoky Soul Barbecue Chicago (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Brandon Norman – Memphis Original BBQ (Atoka, Tenn.)
  • Demetris R. – Making The CuTX (Newport, Vt.)
  • Erica Roby – Blue Smoke Blaire (Dayton, Ohio)
  • Christopher Simmons – The Qulinary Oasis BBQ (DeSoto, Texas)
  • Gerald Vinnett – Big Papi’s Smokehouse (Destrehan, La.)
  • Eddie Wright– Eddie Wright BBQ (Jackson, Miss.)

Native News

Newly drafted Chiefs WR Cornell Powell will remain an Eastern Carolina boy at heart: “All I’m going to say is that I haven’t been to Kansas City and had their barbecue yet but, I have North Carolina barbecue number 1 right now,” said Powell.

Despite the shaky opening to his article, D.G. Martin pays tribute Backyard BBQ Pit and Grady’s BBQ, who both were featured in “Black Smoke”

Grady’s BBQ get a brief profile in the blog Because of Them We Can

Sam Jones’ Whole Hog BBQ book is listed as one of Huckberry’s “6 Barbecue Books for the Budding Pitmaster”

Non-Native News

John Tanner visits Ace Biscuit & Barbecue for both a lunch a well as breakfast

…he also checks out Beale’s Brewery, who smokes wood the old fashioned way and were conferred True ‘Cue status by John

Rodney Scott continues the publicity tour of his recent book

Houston is the best city in the country for barbecue...at least in terms of the number of barbecue restaurants on TripAdvisor

New sign for la Barbecue

RIP Scot Hudson of Hudson’s Hickory House BBQ of Douglasville, GA