Charlotte Barbecue News from the First Quarter of 2020

Monk: Even before the effects of Covid-19 crippled the restaurant industry across the US, it was a pretty eventful first quarter in Charlotte barbecue with some good and some bad. Here’s a rundown of all the news and notable happenings from the first three months of the year.

January

1/3 Short-lived presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg stopped by Sweet Lew’s BBQ while campaigning in Charlotte

1/20 North State BBQ opened in a former Shane’s Rib Shack near Northlake Mall in north Charlotte

1/22 Jon G’s Barbecue officially announced they will be opening a brick and mortar location later this year

February

2/4 Peace N’ Hominy Q Shack in Belmont closes after 5+ years when the breast cancer of owner Christine Rienks returned after 12 years in remission

2/27 Jon G’s Barbecue officially announces the location of their forthcoming brick and mortar store in the old Barbee’s Barbecue in Peachland, 35 miles southeast of Charlotte

March

3/2 Dish, a Plaza-Midwood southern food diner purchased by Sweet Lew’s BBQ owner Lewis Donald in the fall of 2019, reopens with new sandwiches on the menu that includes turkey and pork belly smoked at the Belmont Beauty Myron Mixon smoker down the road at Sweet Lew’s

3/5 Mac’s Speed Shop parent company Mac’s Hospitality Group names former Del Frisco’s Head of Operations George Shang Skipper as its new president; his main charge will be to grow the eight-restaurant Mac’s Speed Shop concept

3/17 North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper declared that as of 5 p.m. March 17, restaurants must close the dining rooms, but will be able to offer takeout and delivery. All Charlotte restaurants (including barbecue) begin to either close or adjust to takeout or curbside pickup only, with no end in the foreseeable future…

How to Order from Our Favorite Charlotte Barbecue Restaurants during Stay at Home

Monk: As of Thursday at 8am, Mecklenburg County is enforcing a Stay at Home order effective until at least April 16. Thankfully, residents are still allowed to go to a restaurant “for take-out, delivery or drive-thru.” As hard as restaurants have already been hit, this will be even more of a blow for those that are trying to stay open through these weird times.

Thusly, if we are able, we should do all we can to support our local barbecue restaurants if we want them to still be around after the Covid-19 pandemic. Here’s a list of our five favorite Charlotte options based on our Charlotte Big Board.

Please note: As everything is pretty much a fluid situation these days, please call ahead or check on social media to ensure that the restaurant is open and serving.

1. Jon G’s Barbecue
March 28th is sold out but stay tuned to their Facebook page for future events
Link to Facebook page

2. Noble Smoke
Monday to Sunday, 10:30am to 8pm
Link to order online

3. Sweet Lew’s Barbecue (available curbside at Dish)
Tuesday to Sunday, 11am to 8pm
Call ahead to order: (704) 344-0343 (delivery also available)⁠⠀

4. Midwood Smokehouse (Central Ave, Park Road, and Ballantyne locations only)
Monday to Sunday, 11:00am to 8:00pm
Link to order online

5. Bill Spoon’s Barbecue
Monday to Wednesday, 10:30am to 3pm; Thursday to Saturday, 10:30am to 8pm
Call ahead to order: (704) 525-8865

Linkdown: 3/4/20

In Vivian Howard’s upcoming PBS series “Somewhere South” she will be exploring the foods uniting cultures across the South; barbecue fans should be excited for the description of episode 6:

Episode 106: “How Do You ‘Cue?” (Friday, May 1, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET)

On a tour of eastern North Carolina barbecue joints, Vivian is reminded of traditions that define the area’s version of pork barbecue while being introduced to new techniques. Flipping what she already knows about ‘cue, Vivian sets out to uncover buried histories and learn about the unexpected ways different types of meat are smoked, pit-cooked, wood-fired and eaten. We learn that barbecue – both the food and the verb – cannot be pigeonholed into one definition. Starting from the whole-hog pits in her figurative backyard, Vivian explores the history of Black barbecue entrepreneurship, from the North Carolina families who started turkey barbecue to the women firing up pits in Brownsville and Memphis, Tennessee. Curious about other iterations, Vivian travels to the west coast of Florida, where a storied “Cracker” history at a smoked mullet festival drastically changes her perspective on Southern ‘cue. In Texas, robust barbecue techniques steeped in tradition are being morphed by longtime families doing what they know best. A pair of sisters in tiny San Diego, Texas add a Tejano touch to their barbecue joint menu, and two Japanese Texan brothers with a smokehouse pair brisket and bento boxes.

Dish was purchased by Sweet Lew’s BBQ owner Lewis Donald last fall and reopened this week with sandwiches on the menu that include turkey and pork belly smoked at Sweet Lew’s BBQ

Details on Hogs for the Cause, happening later this month in New Orleans

Prime Barbecue and Cut & Gather are included on Eater Carolinas’ 5 most anticipated restaurants list

Texas Monthly Barbecue Editor went on a mollejas hunt in South Texas

Happy belated Texas Independence Day!

Congrats to Barbecue!

Linkdown: 2/5/20

In sad news, Peace N’ Hominy Q Shack in Belmont has officially closed after owner Christine Rienk’s breast cancer returned after 12 years in remission; a GoFundMe has been set up to help with the costs of chemotherapy #cancersucks

Sweet Lew’s BBQ’s new Cheerwine beef jerky will debut this month according to Charlotte Five

Buxton Smokeshow by Buxton Hall is bringing a heavy crew of pitmasters and chefs for its inaugural event on 5/17

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The countdown is over! Buxton Hall fans, ‘cue lovers & whole-hog worshippers, here’s the news you’ve been waiting for! Elliott and our crew at Buxton Hall have dreamed up the raddest of BBQ festivals, and you’re invited! ⁣ On Sunday, May 17th, we’re throwing down in #Asheville at @HighlandBrewery. From 5pm – 9pm, enjoy endless soul-warming ‘cue from your favorite joints from across the southeast & beyond. Plus, there will be live music (bands to be announced next month), and equally as show-stopping non-BBQ bites. Plus tasty brews from our pals at Highland Brewery. ⁣ Head on over to the link in our bio for more info and early bird tickets! ⁣ Pitmasters⁣ 🌟Leo Botello – Truth BBQ, Houston, TX⁣ 🌟Zach Parker – B.E. Scott’s, Lexington, TN ⁣ 🌟Mike Patrick – Fancy Hanks, Melbourne, AUS⁣ 🌟Harrison Sapp – Southern Soul Barbeque, Saint Simons Island, GA⁣ 🌟Jonathan & Justin Fox – Fox Bro's BBQ, Atlanta, GA⁣ 🌟Billy Durney – Hometown BBQ, Red Hook, NYC⁣ 🌟Sam Jones – Sam Jones BBQ & Skylight Inn, Greenville/Ayden, NC⁣ 🌟Matt Horn – Horn BBQ, Oakland, CA⁣ 🌟Pat Martin – Martin's BBQ, Nashville, TN ⁣ 🌟 Rodney Scott – Rodney Scott’s BBQ, Charleston, SC ⁣ ⁣ Chefs⁣ ⭐️Brian Canipelli – Cucina 24 & Forestry Camp, Asheville, NC⁣ ⭐️Brian Wolfe – Kimball House, Atlanta, GA⁣ ⭐️Joe Kindred – Hello Sailor, Kindred, Davidson, NC⁣ ⭐️Annie Pettry – Decca, Louisville, KY⁣ ⭐️Mike Moore – Vin Rouge & Blind Pig, Durham, NC⁣ ⭐️William Dissen – Marketplace & Haymaker, Asheville/Charlotte, NC⁣ ⭐️Meherwan Irani – Chai Pani & Botiwalla, Asheville, NC/Atlanta, GA⁣ ⭐️Matt Kelly – Mateo & Saint James, Durham, NC

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The NC Barbecue Society Boot Camp (offered 3 times a year, once in each NC region) is one of the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s “8 great destinations for the intrepid solo traveler”

Congrats to Chef Jim Noble who was awarded by the NC Restaurant and Lodging Association the Ken Conrad Award for Service to the Community for his work with his restaurant The King’s Kitchen (which donates 100% of its profits to feed the poor) and partners with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Dream Center to provide professional opportunities to Charlotteans who have suffered from “extreme life-challenges” such as poverty, homelessness and the slow, uphill battle of recovering from substance abuse or incarceration