Sam Jones BBQ, Skylight Inn BBQ inducted into N.C. Bar-B-Q Hall of Fame

Burlington, N.C. (March 4, 2024) — Sam Jones BBQ, Skylight Inn BBQ and the Jones family who started these legendary eastern North Carolina barbecue restaurants have been inducted into the inaugural class of the N.C. Bar-B-Q Hall of Fame.

More than 300 people attended the Hall of Fame event on Friday, March 1, 2024 in Burlington, N.C. where Sam Jones, his father, Bruce Jones, and uncle Jeff Jones were honored alongside other North Carolina barbecue legends. The other inductees included: Kent Bridges of Alston Bridges Barbecue in Shelby; Steve and Gerri Grady of Grady's BBQ in Dudley; Charles Hursey of Hursey's Bar-B-Q in Burlington, Mebane and Graham; Wayne Monk of Lexington Barbecue in Lexington; and Charles Stamey of Stamey's Barbecue in Greensboro.

"We wanted to honor these people who created North Carolina's authentic barbecue tradition and set the stage for the state's national reputation. They've been in business 80, 90 years - that's saying something," said Chuck Hursey, who helped to organized the N.C. Bar-B-Q Hall of Fame event and whose grandfather S.H. Hursey Jr. started Hursey's Bar-B-Q in Gibsonville in 1949.

"It's important to honor the old guard of this tradition," said Sam Jones of Sam Jones BBQ. "I've been blessed to have been able to travel all over this country as somewhat of an ambassador of North Carolina barbecue, which previously was looked down upon in the culinary community. It was not until Southern cuisine was elevated to fine dining that barbecue rose to being recognized as something special. The old guard had been working hard all these years with almost no recognition. I wish the people who came before me, like my grandfather Pete and his uncle, the man who taught him to cook barbecue, could have accepted this award instead of me."

Friday's event was held at the Alliance Convention Center in Burlington and was followed by a concert by the Oak Ridge Boys. A portion of ticket sales raised more than $3,000 for Alamance County veterans, according to Hursey.

About Sam Jones and Sam Jones BBQ
Sam Jones is a third-generation barbecue man from Ayden, N.C. His family specializes in whole hogs cooked over wood. His grandfather, the late Pete Jones, opened Skylight Inn in 1947. Skylight Inn became the standard in eastern North Carolina barbecue. In 1979, National Geographic published a book entitled "Back Roads America" and proclaimed Pete Jones’ Skylight Inn to be some of the best barbecue in the country. In 2003, Skylight Inn received its most prestigious award, the James Beard Foundation’s America’s Classics award. In 2012, Southern Living magazine named Sam as “one of the top 10 pitmasters in the South." Three years later, Sam Jones partnered with longtime friend and former Skylight employee Michael Letchworth to open Sam Jones BBQ in Winterville, N.C. Rooted in the tradition of Eastern North Carolina whole hog technique that Sam has known his entire life, Sam Jones BBQ also offers a variety of new spins on smoked meats. A second location of the restaurant opened in downtown Raleigh, NC in 2021. Info:


For more information about Sam Jones BBQ, please contact:
Andrea Weigl
(919) 518-7679

Sam Jones was honored Friday, March 1, 2024 in Burlington, N.C. when his restaurant, Sam Jones BBQ was inducted into the N.C. BBQ Hall of Fame. Credit: Courtesy of the N.C. BBQ Hall of Fame