< Back to Oral History project: North Carolina BBQ
Hurricane Ginger struck in 1971. After two-and-a-half decades of calm, Dennis, Floyd, and Irene made 1999 a hurricane-heavy year. Rain-soaker Tropical Storm Nicole fell in 2010. Hurricane Irene landed in August of the following year. All 6 storms caused the Cashie River in tiny downtown Windsor to overflow its banks, in effect, inundating historic Bunn’s Barbecue, open since 1938, each time. As Bunn’s co-owner Randy Russell tells it, “We know all about flooding.”
Following each storm, the Russell family rebuilds Bunn’s. They’ve been blessed with a building—an old filling station—constructed from sturdy heart pine and brimming with character. Fortunately, the Russells also serve up one of North Carolina’s more unique barbecues. The cornbread sandwich fills a half-inch thick square with chopped roast Boston butt and coleslaw. Soak yours in the peppery vinegar hot sauce while thanking the rain gods for sparing Bunn’s this year.