Property Leased By Iconic “Bar-B-Que King” Restaurant Listed For Sale

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Could another iconic Charlotte restaurant be at risk of closing?

The “Bar-B-Q King” on Wilkinson Boulevard sits on land just put up for sale for more than $4 million.

A real estate listing shows four parcels of property up for sale, including one currently leased by the iconic restaurant, which was established in 1959.

“We really hope that, that institution can be saved,” says Stewart Gray, with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission.

He says the distinctive drive-in helps tell the story of the car culture that developed after World War II.

“It’s been on our watch list for literally decades, because it’s an important example of that 1950’s, 1960’s roadside architecture,” Gray says.

The listing touts plans for the light rail to eventually run past the location.

The restaurant owner, Gus, tells WCCB Charlotte the land is owned by his two uncles.

He says he has three years left on his current lease, with an option for five more.

After that, he’s not sure if the restaurant will be able to remain open.

Gray says the Landmarks Commission hopes to work with develops to preserve what can be saved at historic properties.

“You know, you’re not going to stop the development, but there’s gotta be a way, or hopefully there’s a way, and typically there is a way, to incorporate the old with the new,” Gray says.