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Show some love for Bullock’s BBQ

Posted by JEN 7 May 2010 10 Comments

Places like Bullock’s are what Carpe Durham is all about to me. If you can swing by today, or any other day, I’m sure they’d love to see you.

I received this email in my inbox this morning so sorry for the late notice.

“I just wanted to give you an update on what is happening with Bullock’s BBQ.  Tommy’s business has suffered through this presumptive salmonella issue…to the tune of an 80% drop in customers and cancellation of almost all of his catering business.  DCVB has met with Tommy 3 times this week to help with strategies for coping with this.  At 5:30 Tuesday night there were 8 cars in the parking lot…and as you know, this place typically has a line outside that wraps around the building when it opens.

This is the oldest continuing operating restaurant in Durham.  It’s a Durham landmark that draws visitors and they are in trouble.  In 58 years of business Bullock’s has never received a health inspection rating of less than an A.  So far, the health department has found NO violations, NO sick employees and only have a presumption of salmonella…on an order that was taken from the building…but even that is not definitive as of yet.  Bullock’s has cooperated fully as the health department came out and tested all of their food and processes.

Here’s what you can do to help:

We have planned an event at the restaurant at noon this Friday (tomorrow, May 7th) where we’ve invited all the chefs in Durham to come and eat lunch (with their chef whites on).  Even though it is the Friday afternoon of graduation, most of the chefs contacted have said they will be there to support Bullock’s.

This is a pay-for-your-own lunch event…so just come on down.  (Bring Cash…Bullock’s does not take credit cards.)  Your attendance will go a long way in convincing the public that it is safe.

Jim Wise and Kevin Davis have already blogged about this.

We have commitments from at least 3 television stations to do a story and be there Friday.  In addition to the story about Tommy and Bullock’s we’ll provide the media with information that will help emphasize again what a great dining destination Durham is.

What Bullock’s needs more than anything are some some customers to help boost consumer confidence.

Thanks for being there tomorrow (or any day) if you can to support Tommy and this Durham landmark..

Shelly Green
President & CEO
Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau”


  • Gary G said:

    I went — it was fabulously packed. WTVD covered it and it will be on the news this evening. I spotted Jim Wise, Mike Woodward, Tom Ferguson, the entire staff of the Q Shack (who I heard were closed today and had a sign out front steering customers to Bullock’s), and Scott Howell. Those were just the folks I recognized. Tommy came out and gave a speech and got a standing ovation.


    RPP replies on May 7th, 2010 at 4:44 pm:

    “the entire staff of the Q Shack (who I heard were closed today and had a sign out front steering customers to Bullock’s)”

    And that is why I love Durham.


    boaviagem replies on May 14th, 2010 at 11:33 am:

    Bullock’s has a very gracious thank you message in this week’s Independent.


  • Julie said:

    You have to wonder how much of the blame from that issue goes to the people who ordered that take-out from Bullocks and then didn’t ensure that the food was properly stored before/during consumption.


  • blewgo said:

    Thinking about all the negative crap that was posted here about another establishment just down the street you have to wonder.


  • RG said:

    They had a great turn out…the food was great as usual! Long live Bullock’s.


  • Beth1 said:

    I ate there today and am happy to report all is well. So glad they decided to stay open. Good job, Durham!


  • Paul Dudenhefer said:

    I went to Bullock’s yesterday for a large barbecue sandwich. It was totally fine.


  • JME said:

    Am I the only one that thinks that the quality of Bullock’s food has taken a nosedive in the last 5-6 years? I grew up going there but can’t stand the food anymore.


    TSQ75 replies on August 16th, 2010 at 11:34 am:

    its also possible that your tastes have changed? it happens. alot of people still pack it in there on the weekends, and alot of newcomers have adopted it as a favorite.


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