Heading to Noble’s Grille in Winston-Salem and detoured to Greensboro to visit Stamey’s BBQ. Actually I had to meet Pam, our CFO once again and Stamey’s seemed like the perfect meeting place. She feels like if I keep this up, she will have to roll me into the new Q joint we are working on. Stamey’s is one of the old pioneers in the wood fired BBQ business. According to Bob Garner in “North Carolina Barbecue” C. Warner Stamey as a high school student began to work the pits for Jess Swicegood around 1927. Jess Swicegood put up a BBQ tent outside the courthouse in Lexington not long after Sid Weaver had done the same in 1919. They were in head to head competition. These were no sit down BBQ restaurants, just permanent tents selling Q. Weaver reportedly replaced his tent some time later with a small building. In 1930 Stamey went to Shelby and opened his first BBQ place in a tent much like Swicegood’s with sawdust on the floor. He taught his BBQ techniques to his wife’s brother Alston Bridges and to Red Bridges (now known as Bridges Barbecue Lodge and he’s no kin to Alston) who continue to this day. Stamey moved back to Lexington in the mid 30’s and bought from Swicegood the place he originally learned the trade in 1938. Early in the 50’s he taught the trade to Wayne Monk – owner, founder and operator of Lexington #1. Stamey moved to Greensboro and opened his landmark site in 1953 where they operate today across from the Greensboro Coliseum.
We had a great lunch with sliced BBQ, barbecue chicken and a BBQ sandwich. We also enjoyed the hushpuppies. Serving hushpuppies with BBQ is a tradition that Stamey started when he moved and opened his BBQ store in Greensboro. Before that time, most BBQ was served with rolls. Now, it would be hard to imagine BBQ not served with hushpuppies or some type of cornbread (that was for you Bill and Catherine – I wouldn’t hear the end if I didn’t mention the eastern tradition.) Thanks Stamey for a being part of the NC BBQ tradition and bringing great BBQ to the western part of the state for nearly 83 years.
Next stop on the next leg will be at my old friend and fraternity brother’s longtime family restaurant in Madison, Fuzzy’s BBQ – named after his father who founded the store in 1954.