Eat a Plate at Bullock’s Today

Sometimes bad luck leads to good news.  After hearing that the recent salmonella outbreak at Bullock’s Bar-B-Cue had put a serious dent in their business, despite the fact that the outbreak may not have been Bullock’s fault, area chefs have rallied behind the venerable Durham institution.  Join local chefs at Bullock’s for lunch at high noon today to show your support for the BBQ joint, which is Durham’s oldest and likely best known restaurant.

It’s also worth checking out the post on Bull City Rising–as an aside, BCR is well worth reading if you give even a pig’s patoot about Durham–and viewing the comments.  The line of thinking that Bullock’s business may be declining in part due to the restaurant’s own mediocrity and increased local competition may have some truth to it.   Nonetheless, it’s hard not to root for a restaurant with as much history and as many loyal customers as Bullock’s.

The Barbecue Joint in Chapel Hill Kaput?


A few alert readers have written in to let us know that The Barbecue Joint in Chapel Hill appears to have closed several weeks ago.  Since then we have been working hard–or at least hardly working–to confirm this rumor.  Sure enough, the doors to the restaurant are closed and there is a sign from the Sheriff’s department saying that anyone who enters the restaurant is trespassing, or something to that effect. 

Recently we heard from a highly placed source (given the Watergate-esque nature of this story we will refer to this source as “Hush Puppy” to protect his/her identity), who confirmed the joint’s closing.  Hush Puppy told us, “they’re flat out of business and the lock on the door is the landlord’s, for non-payment of rent.  Apparently they got over-extended… The scheme for raising money by offering $2,000 worth of future food for $1,000 now was made necessary by some major backers pulling the plug.” 

Bad news for The Barbecue Joint’s loyal fans, especially any who ponied up $1,000 or more to invest in the place when it announced plans to move to a larger location awhile back.   Allen & Son is now back to being Chapel Hill’s only NC barbecue joint.  As much as I love Allen’s, maybe this opens the door for a new barbecue joint in town?

BBQ: Good eatin’ or poison?!

It’s been a rough few weeks for NC barbecue lovers (and friends).  Between the rash of closings, fires and even a proprietor’s death, it appeared things had hit rock bottom for NC barbecue restaurants.  But now there’s more. 

Bullock’s Bar B Cue in Durham is being investigated for a salmonella outbreak, according to an article in the oh-so-creatively named Food Safety News.  The barbecue sandwich pictured in this article is covered in a thick tomatoey sauce and undoubtedly has never been within 500 miles of Bullock’s, but the salmonella outbreak was real.  Note that more recent media reports indicate that the food that contained the salmonella was a takeout order, indicating that perhaps food safety was compromised after the order left the restaurant. 

Thought it was safe to eat some Brunswick stew while debating whether there is salmonella in your BBQ sandwich? Think again.  The FDA has recalled 414 pounds of Brunswick stew from Louisburg-based Murphy House Barbecue.  The recall stemmed from the stew containing undeclared potential allergens of… wait for it… wheat and milk.  Okay, not quite as gross as salmonella, though one wonders what business wheat and milk have hanging out in a bowl of Brunswick stew.