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The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Best Barbecue: Kent Black’s

Best Barbecue: Kent Black’s
Best Barbecue: Kent Black’s

The Original Black’s Barbecue was first opened in Lockhart, Texas, in 1932 during The Great Depression as a meat market and small grocery store. This business is Texas’ oldest barbecue restaurant company that has been owned by the same family – a fact that makes owner and third generation Pitmaster Kent Black proud.
“We’ve been open every year since 1932, and there’s just very few businesses of any type that can say that number one, they’ve been open that long consecutively and number two, say that they’re still owned by the original family,” Black said.
Kent’s grandfather started the business, and his parents worked there after his father came back from serving in World War II. After Kent’s parents retired he bought the business from his parents, now owns it with his wife.
The company now has four locations. Restaurants can be found in Lockhart, San Marcos, Austin, and New Braunfels, Texas. The second location was added 82 years after the Lockhart location opened.
Kent said he has added a few more locations, but firm in continuing the original traditions and recipes.
“We don’t move real fast because when we do add another store, we want to do it right, and so we decided about six years ago that we thought we could do justice to a second restaurant, and to us San Marcos was just the natural choice,” Black said.
Black’s Barbecue Inc. Operations Manager and fourth generation in the business Eric Lenderman said the San Marcos location is different from the others as it is likely the most multi-use location.
“It’s got a really nice large outdoor patio area with picnic tables and outdoor games,” Lenderman said. “It’s our only location of the four with a full bar and a party room for private parties.”
Black believes that a friendly atmosphere and high-quality food and service are aspects that draw people in.
“Our staff takes a lot of pride in friendly service, and when I hire new staff I’ll ask them ‘well who’s your boss,’ and they’ll point to me,” Black said. “I’ll tell ‘em ‘nope, I’m not your boss. See those nice people in line, those customers, those guests? Those are your bosses and if you keep them happy we’ll be successful.’ So, I think it’s the food, the barbecue and our service, and our friendly atmosphere. We really appreciate the customer.”
Due to COVID-19, the business has had to make adjustments. They are currently only offering to-go orders. Customers can go into the store to pick up orders or call from the parking lot and have it delivered to their car.
“It’s not a way that we’ve normally done business, but we’ve been able to adapt, and I’m real proud that we have not laid off any employees,” Black said. “Everyone’s had some of their hours reduced, but I haven’t laid off anyone, and I’m doing my best to not do that.”
Black said he believes Americans will pull together and do what is right during this time like continuing to wash their hands and practice social distancing.
“It’s not going to be a fun two or three months or however long it takes, but we will come out on the other end of this still as a great community, a strong country, and we will get things going again,” Black said.
Those currently wishing to dine at The Original Black’s Barbecue can use Favor for to-go orders at the San Marcos location. Additionally, The Original Black’s Barbecue ships barbecue to all 50 states, and customers can order shipments using their website. Kent Black’s Barbecue is located at 510 Hull St.
2nd place:Hays Co. Bar-B-Que
3rd Place: San Marcos BBQ

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