Sad news from the heart (or at least one of the kidneys) of North Carolina barbecue country. John Wayne’s Barbecue in Lexington is going out of business today after more than 25 years of serving up ‘cue, BBQ chicken, and much more. See the full story in The Dispatch or on the WFMY News website.
The Dispatch article notes that John Wayne’s is one of seven restaurants that sponsors the annual Barbecue Festival. It will be interesting to see if another restaurant steps in to fill the void.
I never had the pleasure of dining at John Wayne’s so I can’t comment on how much of a loss this is for barbetourists like me, but it sure is a sign of the times. It always seemed like barbecue joints in Lexington succeeded no matter what. The town has 20-some joints despite a population of just a shade over 20,000. Given how hard hit the economy of the Lexington area has been over the years, dating back well before the current recession, it’s a wonder more joints haven’t closed their doors. Tim Myers, the owner of John Wayne’s, says business is down about 30% from mid-2008. Let’s hope John Wayne’s loyal customers find a new local joint to support.