C O M FORT FOO D IS A LL IN T HE FAMILY Tommy Bullock is in his seventies and has never worked a day in his life for anyone other than Bullock’s BBQ. It all began in the 1940s when Tommy’s dad, Glenn Bullock, started selling barbecue door to door. By 1952 he opened Bullock’s BBQ. Tommy grew up helping his family, eventually taking ownership of the restaurant in 1970. Today, Bullock’s BBQ is the longest continuously-running restaurant in Durham and Tommy now works with his son Ty. Folks flock to Bullock’s for mouth-watering Southern favorites like Eastern North Carolina-style barbecue, fried chicken, and banana pudding. But Bullock’s isn’t the only long-running family-owned restaurant in Durham.
BULLOCK’S IS THE LONGEST CONTINUOUSLY RUNNING RESTAURANT IN DURHAM
The Chicken Hut, owned by mother-and-son team Peggy and Claiborne Tapp III, first opened in 1957. Originally named The Chicken Box, the restaurant is known for its crisp fried chicken and savory Southern sides. While family restaurants typically pass from one generation to the next, sometimes they pass from one family to another. In 1942, the High family opened King’s Sandwich Shop, a classic American hamburger joint. It closed in 2007 and the shuttered business lay vacant for several years. But in 2010 the McDermott family had a vision for reviving King’s to its former glory; they reopened the restaurant using the original name and chili recipe.
Today you’ll find a line to the outdoor ordering window stretching 10 deep, with construction workers, business people, and families eagerly awaiting hamburgers, hot dogs, and fried bologna. Sometimes all you need is really good food to bring people together and make them feel like family.
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