Friday, January 6, 2012

Rudy Cobb: The Place is the Space

Rudy Cobb at Jack Cobb & Son Barbecue Place, Farmville, North Carolina. (Photo by Denny Culbert/ The Barbecue Bus)

No chairs, no tables, just a counter. Take your food and go. Its name is the stuff that could have been dreamed up by a Hollywood script department: Jack Cobb & Son Barbecue Place. It’s a joint where even the owner, Rudy Cobb, can’t pin down exactly how old the establishment is. Could be sixty years, might just be seventy.

Rudy Cobb is Son, inheritor of his father’s legacy. For a half-century Jack Cobb constructed barrels for the tobacco industry. On Saturdays, Cobb, aided by Son, moved from making hogsheads to smoking whole hogs, selling the meat out of his car to his warehouse coworkers.

Father and Son eventually setup shop in Farmville, a tobacco-town for which a more apt name could not have been chosen. Here, Son still prepares food Jack Cobb’s way: oak wood-fired pigs, collard greens, hush puppies, slaw, and boiled potatoes. For three days each week, the Place is the space for barbecue.


-Rien Fertel/ The Barbecue Bus

A customer waves good-bye after picking up his barbecue at Jack Cobb & Son Barbecue Place. (Photo by Denny Culbert/ The Barbecue Bus)

Hush puppies removed from the deep fryer. (Photo by Denny Culbert/ The Barbecue Bus)

Ann Blue and Rudy Cobb work back to back in the close confines of Jack Cobb & Son Barbecue Place. (Photo by Denny Culbert/ The Barbecue Bus)

A customer waits at the counter for his order. (Photo by Denny Culbert/ The Barbecue Bus)

Morning light filters into Jack Cobb & Son Barbecue Place in Farmville, NC. (Photo by Denny Culbert/ The Barbecue Bus)

Look for the weather worn sign on South Main Street in Farmville to find Jack Cobb & Son. (Photo by Denny Culbert/ The Barbecue Bus)
Rudy Cobb at the counter of Jack Cobb & Son Barbecue Place, in Farmville, North Carolina. (Photo by Denny Culbert/ The Barbecue Bus)

The barbecue sandwich topped with mustard infused slaw from Jack Cobb & Son Barbecue Place, Farmville, North Carolina. (Photo by Denny Culbert/ The Barbecue Bus)

Rudy Cobb pours sweet tea for a customer. (Photo by Denny Culbert/ The Barbecue Bus)
The barbecue plate of chopped pork, boiled potatoes and collards from Jack Cobb & Son Barbecue Place, Farmville, North Carolina. (Photo by Denny Culbert/ The Barbecue Bus)
Ann Blue works the hush puppy fryer in the kitchen area of Jack Cobb & Son Barbecue Place. (Photo by Denny Culbert/ The Barbecue Bus)

Long time Jack Cobb & Son Barbecue Place employee, Ann Blue greets her customers by name and with a smile, while filling orders and frying hush puppies.  (Photo by Denny Culbert/ The Barbecue Bus)

Jack Cobb & Son Barbecue Place 
3883 South Main Street
Farmville, NC 27828

(252) 753-5128 (we recommend calling ahead to make sure they're open)

Hours of Operation:
Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.

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