PINK HILL, N.C. (WNCT) - It’s no secret eastern North Carolina is known for barbecue, but there’s a relatively new restaurant just outside of Pink Hill that has locals talking.
Three C’s Barbecue opened last August, fulfilling a life-long dream for owner Clarence Byrd Jr.
“My husband worked with Pepsi for 20 years, and he retired,” said his wife, Kim Byrd. “And I didn't want him around the house doing nothing, so I suggested we do this, and that's what he did."
But the long hours cooking pigs out back is nothing new for Clarence. Barbecue is in his DNA.
"It all started with my daddy,” said Clarence Byrd. “He taught us how when we were younger. We were probably 14 years old for the first pig we ever cooked. It turned out great because we listened to our daddy and did just like he said, do."
"That's what it was all about,” said Kim Byrd. “His father was really the beginning of it all."
"We have a meat cleaver that we chop barbecue with that belonged to my father's daddy” said Clarence Byrd. “My son is the fourth generation that's chopped with that same, old wood-handled meat cleaver. It goes way back."
That family history led to its name.
"Every time I tried to name this place, his name always came up,” said Clarence Byrd. “I was named after him. My son was named after me. I said, well that's Three C's. So that's what we went with."
"We were all really thrilled,” said Pamela Smith, Clarence’s sister. “We were really happy. We know it's always something he wanted to do. He always cooked pigs. Our dad showed him how, taught him how. He can cook a good pig."
That’s what brings the customers in.
"If I want good, Eastern, down home barbecue, this is where I go,” said Donald Bland, a customer.
It’s filling a barbecue void in this part of Lenoir County.
"I'm only a mile down the road,” said Bland. “If I want a quick lunch, quick supper, it's right here. And a good, clean restaurant, nice atmosphere, can't beat it."
" It was something we needed because the closest place is Kinston or Goldsboro or Jacksonville,” said Kim Byrd. “So, people around here love it. It's convenient."
Three C’s celebrated its first birthday Thursday, meaning it’s on to year two.
"It's been fun,” said Kim Byrd. “We've made a lot of friends, met a lot of new people. We have new customers every day, every time we open."
"I never thought it would be this busy retired,” said Clarence Byrd. “But I've enjoyed it. It does not seem like it's been one year since we opened up, because we've enjoyed it, and time has flew."
Be sure to tune in Labor Day at 5:30 p.m. for our People and Places Barbecue Trail special, highlighting some of the more unique barbecue spots in eastern North Carolina.