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.
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
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
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