The Raleigh News and Observer has reported that Allen and Son Barbeque, outside Chapel Hill, North Carolina, closed suddenly on Wednesday, December 5, 2018, a date that will live in infamy.
Allen and Son has been around for 48 years. It has earned a spot on True ‘Cue for cooking exclusively with wood, the way God intended, and is on the North Carolina Barbecue Society’s Barbecue Trail map. Allen and Son has been a regular on barbecue “Best” lists for as long as I can remember.
Allen and Son was started by Keith Allen, who grew up on a farm outside Burlington, North Carolina, where he learned to cure hams and make sausages. His father started selling barbecue when he was eleven. Fast forward: One Saturday in 1970, while eating at a barbecue place with some friends, Allen decided that he could do a better job than the restaurant making barbecue, and bought the place on the spot. He named it Allen and Son in honor of his father, which is nice.
Keith Allen woke up every morning at 2:00 a.m. to get the fire going by 3:00, to start the meat, make the pies and sides, and to cut and split the hickory logs — by himself. Here’s a video about Keith Allen. You want to watch it. It’s not surprising that he couldn’t find a fitting successor. Allen and Sons was still doing well, but Allen decided that, after 48 years, it was time to move on, maybe sleep in until 4:00 every now and then. Deciding he wouldn’t be able to put in a full day’s work — up to his own standards — amid all the goodbyes, tears, and hugs, Allen skipped any announcement and simply shut the door.
I really regret that I don’t have a review on the blog. My last trip to Allen and Son is what taught me to check the days and hours before going to a barbecue place, especially in North Carolina.
There’s an Allen and Son in Pittsboro is not affected by the closing, but that one is just a liscensee, and it hasn’t been certified by True ‘Cue. Enter with caution.
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