Monk: This Thanksgiving, consider leaving the cooking to the professionals at these Charlotte-area barbecue joints. You also get the added benefit of supporting a local business while you take it easy because let’s face it, we should all take it easy when we can. See below for information.
Big Tiny’s BBQ – Mooresville, NC
The Dixie Pig – Rock Hill, SC
Farmhouse BBQ – Gastonia, NC
The Improper Pig – Charlotte, Fort Mill
Jon G’s Barbecue – Peachland, NC
Mac’s Speed Shop
OooWee BBQ – Pineville
The Q Shack
RayNathan’s – Gastonia, NC
Rock Store BBQ – Stallings
The Smoke Pit – Concord, Gastonia, Monroe, Salisbury
Monk: The biggest news was of course the closing of Bill Spoon’s Barbecue in late September, which I wrote a little bit about in our 9/16 Linkdown. Afterwards, the news came out that it wasn’t only the pandemic that killed them off – it had been some time coming due to an aging customer base and Spoon’s inability to attract new, younger customers that may have wanted a more full service barbecue experience.Until the end, they thought of themselves as a “traditional barbecue house” which means they only accepted cash and didn’t serve beer or wine. And they were ok with that, even if that ultimately wasn’t what Charlotte wanted. Rest in peace, Bill Spoon’s Barbecue.
7/6 Sweet Lew’s BBQ announces adjusted hours of operation, now Wednesday through Sunday, removing Tuesday
7/24 Sweet Lew’s Barbecue introduces an updated menu with hash now on the menu full time and house made sausage that was helped develop with advice from Garren of Jon G’s Barbecue
7/25 Noble Smoke celebrated one year of being open with an all-day party
8/20 Bargarita, a “new restaurant serving margaritas and BBQ tacos” opens in the former Solstice Tavern location in NoDa. No word on where or how they smoke their brisket or pork for tacos.
8/28 The Annual Mallard Creek Barbecue, “The Grandaddy of North Carolina Barbecues,” was officially cancelled for the first time in 90 years
8/31 Big Tiny’s BBQ in Mooresville celebrated four years of being open; Pitmaster John also celebrated a birthday
9/1 Noble Smoke introduces Taco Tuesdays
9/8 Seoul Food Meat Co will open a second location in the Optimist Park neighborhood (not NoDa as noted in their post) as part of an adaptive-reuse project called Lintmen’s
9/16 Bill Spoon’s Barbecue closed after 57 years in business
9/20 Sweet Lew’s Barbeque begins smoking whole hogs on Sundays, the only Charlotte-area restaurant smoking whole hogs as far as I am aware of
9/28 We interviewed Garren and Kelly of Jon G’s Barbecue about what it’s like to open a barbecue restaurant in the middle of the pandemic
Sweet Lew’s Barbeque has started doing whole hog on Sundays as of this past Sunday, making it the only whole hog available in Charlotte smoked the old way.
The recently shuttered Bill Spoon’s cooked the whole hog but switched to gas smokers some years back. Here’s hoping whole hog Sundays catches on with Charlotte customers and Lewis Donald can continue to smoke whole hogs weekly (and maybe more frequently if its popular enough).
The price is $16/lb or $13 for a plate with two sides. This puts it just above Midwood Smokehouse ($13) and Jon G’s ($14) but below Noble Smoke ($18). Not bad, considering those are smoked pork shoulders compared with whole hog.
It certainly looks like Sweet Lew’s has been running through some wood, so hopefully I can pick up some whole hog next week for football.
The Charlotte Observer’s Theoden James has the full story, and notes that the closing wasn’t because of the pandemic. Steve Spoon, Jr.: “There is no other source of income for mom-and-pop places. There’s no financial backing, there’s no partners, there’s no corporate money to be funded in when you are short. The customers are their only source of revenue, so if they don’t come, (they) have no safety net. You have to support ’em.”
Bargarita is not looking too promising
Barbecue historian Jim Auchmutey was a consultant on Netflix’s “American Barbecue Showdown,” which filmed outside of Atlanta last year but was just released on Netflix