Monk: In a recent podcast interview, Kevin’s BBQ Joints finally managed to interview Garren and Kelly Kirkman from Barbecue Bros favorite Jon G’s Barbecue. It covers a wide range of topics from Garren growing up on a beef farm in NC to their beginnings as a pop-up to quitting their fulltime jobs to open a restaurant during COVID. A great primer for folks who may be new to Jon G’s.
Monk: Most of the first quarter of 2023 was on the quieter side in the land of Charlotte barbecue. It was not until the end of March where a new restaurant was announced (the promising-looking Firehawk Brewpub in Mount Holly) or a restaurant announced closure (the land around BBQ King off Wilkinson Boulevard was put up for sale for $4.2M). Will that be a sign of things picking up – hopefully more on the positive side of things? I’ll be keeping my eye out over the next few months.
1/9 – Gastonia’s Ray Nathan‘s celebrated their 4 year anniversary in early January
1/27 – The stacked pitmaster lineup for the second Carolina BBQ festival from Lewis Donald of Sweet Lew’s BBQ is announced
2/8 – Actor Eric Wareheim recently filmed at Jon G’s Barbecue for an upcoming project; Jake Wood of Lawrence Barbecue was also in the house
2/25 – Robert Moss reports that the chopped pork trailer that sometimes resides outside Jon G’s Barbecue is “absolutely splendid”
2/28 – Big Tiny’s BBQ in Mooresville gets the Only in NC treatment
3/7 – Midwood Smokehouse is doing their spin on birria tacos with pork
3/14 – Noble Smoke‘s Optimist Hall location celebrated one year open in March
3/16 – Firehawk Brewpub, a brewpub with a True ‘Cue barbecue joint attached, is announced to be coming to Mount Holly in early April
3/18 – Fumar comes back from an extended hiatus
3/21 – The land where BBQ King in Charlotte sits is up for sale for $4.2M
Monk: In more good classic NC barbecue news, Pik-N-Pig, the Carthage barbecue joint located at an airfield, has finally reopened as of last Thursday. It had been closed for repairs due to a fire in May 2021.
According to this article from the Sandhill Sentinel, due to the new floor plan the amount of seating has doubled and the kitchen is nearly three times the size of the previous one. There is now a dedicated smokehouse with three smokers to handle the capacity for their pulled pork, smoked chicken, brisket, and wings.
More FAQs on the restaurant reopening.
Eric Wareheim recently filmed at Jon G’s Barbecue for an upcoming project; Jake Wood of Lawrence Barbecue was also in the house
Speedy’s Barbecue is finally closing due to the Highway 8 widening, but thankfully they are just relocating to Piedmont Drive in Lexington
JD’s Smokehouse gets profiled in Our State Magazine
Cheerwine and Noda Brewing in Charlotte have collaborated on a new beer called Cheerwine Ale
Been enjoying “Poker Face” on Peacock and episode 3 took place at a fictional east Texas barbecue joint
Daniel Vaughn recently published a story on the history of wagyu beef in America
Monk: 2022 was yet another year of great barbecue. In addition to finally getting to spend some time in the eastern part of the state for whole hog (although still not nearly enough), I tried two of the best new school barbecue at Palmira Barbecue in Charleston and Lawrence Barbecue in Durham. In terms of North Carolina, in the last weeks of the year I ate at two of the best joints in Buxton Hall Barbecue and Stamey’s. Here are the meals in photos listed in alphabetical order.
Whole hog barbecue dinner from B’s Barbecue, Greenville, NC (link)
Whole hog and ribs from Buxton Hall Barbecue in Asheville (re-review coming soon)
Hash and rice from Duke’s Barbecue in Orangeburg, SC (link)
A little bit of everything from Jon G’s Barbecue in Peachland, NC
Pork, brisket, and sticky ribs from Lawrence Barbecue, Durham, NC (link)
Whole hog barbecue, hash and rice from Palmira BBQ, Charleston, NC (link)
Whole hog barbecue from Skylight Inn, Ayden, NC (link)
Chopped barbecue plate with extra brown from Stamey’s Barbecue, Greensboro, NC (re-review coming soon)