Williamsburg institution Pierce’s Pitt Bar-B-Que has been named Virginia’s top spot in Southern Living Magazine’s 2019 list of the south’s best barbecue joints in every state.
The article lists 15 barbecue restaurants from as far north as Washington, D.C., down to Texas. Author Hannah Hayes notes that the winners were selected by Southern Living Magazine readers, and said the restaurant serves up hickory-smoked, Tennessee-style barbecue despite being located in Virginia.
This is the first time Pierce’s Pitt has won the award since 2006; it was ranked on the list in the 1990s and early 2000s, according to a news release from the restaurant.
Julius “Doc” Pierce opened the restaurant in 1971, according to the release, and marks 48 years in operation this year.
The restaurant has come a long way since its beginnings as a 14-by-16-foot walk-up barbecue stand, second-generation owner Jay Pierce said. Since those early days, the menu has expanded along with the restaurant, which added a dining area in 1985.
“It’s all cooked outdoors over hickory oak and wood and we’re always trying something new, so it’s always quite an honor when you get recognized like this,” Pierce said. “I try to tell my guys all the time that there are a lot of restaurants in the area and folks can go anywhere that they want to, so we’re appreciative for every customer that comes in that door.”
Pierce credits the success of his restaurant to his committed staff.
“I have 63 employees, and over half of the employees have been there from five years to 43 years,” he said. “They’re caring and take pride in what they do, that’s why I say that when we win something like this or we get any type of award, it belongs to those guys even more than it does me.”
Pierce’s Pitt Bar-B-Que is at 447 E. Rochambeau Drive and is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, visit pierces.com. To read the full list of restaurants, visit www.southernliving.com/souths-best/bbq-southern-states.
Arriaza can be reached at 757-790-9313 or on Twitter @rodrigoarriaza0.