Update: Wilber’s may re-open. Details here.
- “I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.“
Wilber’s, has closed its doors. There’s a brief item in the Goldsboro Daily News announcing the closure and the posting of No Trespassing signs on the door. There is no explanation, but stay tuned for updates.
Wilber’s is — was — one of the great barbecue places in North Carolina. I put it at #3 in Eastern North Carolina, right after Bum’s Restaurant in Ayden and the Skylight Inn, also in Ayden. They had great, wood-cooked barbecue with one of the best barbecue sauces around, and extraordinary hush puppies. Dangerous hush puppies. And really good banana pudding.
Wilber’s was a regular stop on our way to the beach near Morehead City. Well, first we would stop at Parker’s for lunch, but then we’d stop again, 45 minutes or so later, for me to have a second lunch and to load up at the big fruit and vegetable stand outside — a basket of tomatoes, a couple of cantaloupes, a watermelon, and some corn, okra, muscadines, and boiled peanuts. Once, I drove from Pine Knoll Shores up to Raleigh to pick up Anne Rain Brown, nee’ Tanner, at the airport to join us. I stopped and ate at Wilber’s on the way to the airport and again in the way back. It was that good. I probably got more tomatoes, too, as a cover. The bypass directed a lot of traffic around Wilber’s, and our first post-bypass effort to find it was something of an adventure. But Wilber’s was well worth the modest detour.
But now it’s gone. Ella will never get to taste their barbecue. So sad.
I guess the thing to do is detour to Grady’s, which is near Dudley, south of Goldsboro. Grady’s is a wonderful place, and I hope this helps their business. There are few enough places in North Carolina that cook with wood only that the loss of any one, and especially one as good as Wilber’s is a tragedy.
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