Dallas BBQ, the barbeque restaurant on 72nd street between Columbus and Central Park West, is closing after New Year’s Eve, a manager there told us. We heard from a regular customer that the restaurant was closing because of a large rent increase, but the manager couldn’t confirm.
This Dallas BBQ, which opened in 1978, was the first in the city. There are now 10 others. Dallas BBQ serves inexpensive food that draws big crowds. “I heard from the waitress. First thing out of her mouth. My friend and I were both stunned,” wrote Bob, our original tipster. “So many people depend on Dallas BBQ for an inexpensive meal or delivery.”
As Bizjournals described the chain in an article last year:
“At these large eateries, the early bird special ordered before 6 p.m. will buy two rotisserie, half-chickens, chicken soup, baked potatoes or fries and cornbread for $10 a couple. That’s $10 a couple before tax, drinks and tip…
Critics are decidedly mixed in their Dallas BBQ reviews. Ed Levine in his Serious Eats blog described the wings as ‘crispy and crunchy and clearly showed that someone knows how to fry,’ and said its fries are superior to trendy Shake Shack, though he wasn’t impressed with its ribs. The blog Mr. Cutlets described the food at Dallas BBQ ‘as an affront to us as a city.’ One patron on Yelp described his meal as ‘two dry half chickens, two watery vegetable soups, two stale pieces of cornbread with awful potatoes.'”
But the place has a long history in the neighborhood, and is beloved by many people who remember getting a filling meal for a good price. One reviewer on Yelp wrote: “When I lived a few blocks away I ordered from you at least 2-3 times a month. To say that I only exist on this earth today because of your (at that time) $5 take out chicken is not a lie. Only a very, very few times was the delivery order ever wrong or the food not spot-on.”