Pete’s Grill in Gibsonville sold to local man with ties to Hursey barbecue family
GIBSONVILLE – Since 1957, Pete’s Grill has called thousands to its doors with the promise of a hearty, hearty plate of meat and three vegetables for lunch, and fluffy pancakes, with a side of eggs and bacon for breakfast.
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It’s been sold, but the locals don’t have to worry. The new owner has been a loyal follower of the food served at the small restaurant in Gibsonville for years and has no plans to change anything.
“There’s no need to change anything,” said Tripp Hursey, the new owner who bought the 65-year-old historic restaurant. “That would be the dumbest thing anyone could do is come here and start making a difference.”
If you ask, “Is this a Hursey from the famous Hursey’s Bar-BQ family in Alamance County,” the answer is yes. Will he make it another Hursey Bar-BQ? No he’s not. And you’ll still need to bring cash to eat at Pete’s, as it’s the only form of payment accepted from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
“I’ve been eating here for about 20 years,” he said. “It’s like stepping back 30 years when you walk in here. Everyone is always friendly. There’s a sense of community here, and you know you’re going to eat something good.”
Hursey, who works in the wholesale part of the Hursey Bar-BQ business, bought Pete’s Grill about two weeks ago from Kostas and Ellen Hatzipanagiotou, who have owned the restaurant for 20 years. at 137 Piedmont Ave. The restaurant was opened in 1957 by a man named Pete, whose last name no one seems to remember.
The small 48-seat restaurant is a former bus station in Gibsonville and, ironically, the original Hursey’s Bar-BQ restaurant was located next to Pete’s Grill in what is now Once Up A Chocolate Store.
During lunch hours on Monday, stalls were filled with diners enjoying the usual Monday offerings of fried chicken, country steak, beef stew, grilled chicken, pintos, lima beans with corn and other offers stick to your ribs. The first three types of meat mentioned earlier are on the service line every day from Monday to Saturday, with additional meat added daily, but on the same day each week.
The restaurant also serves breakfast daily, but you place your order at your table and it is brought to you instead of through the service line like at lunch.
Newbies to Gibsonville quickly find their way to Pete’s Grill, but most customers are lifelong. Some of those customers knew their favorite restaurant had been sold but were at peace knowing that Hursey was not planning any changes to the menu.
“As long as they keep this ‘young’ woman in the kitchen who’s been cooking for years, I have no problem with that,” said Johnie Pickard from Greensboro who drives every day with his friend Charlie Foust from Sedalia for lunch. at Pete’s. Grill. “I used to come to this place when Pete owned it. I had to have one good meal a day, and that’s it.
Burlington’s Pete Burnette doesn’t come in every day, but he does come in every Monday, Thursday and Saturday to eat at Pete’s because that’s when pintos are a star vegetable on the service line.
“That lady cooking all of this is like your mum or grandma is making food,” he said. “It’s good, country cooking. Nothing is just poured out of a can. Everything tastes good. I love the vibe.”
Hursey said people like food prices too. Plated lunches with one meat and three vegetables are $9.75 and that includes your drink and fried cornbread. A plate with one meat and two vegetables costs $8.75. Vegetable plates start at $5.50 with two vegetables and go up to four vegetables for $7.50. Homemade cobber is an add-on for $2.50.
“It’s the tax and everything,” he said. “That’s your door price.”
To prove how regular most customers are, Hursey asked Ellen Hatzipanagiotou, who was still hanging out at her old restaurant, how many people asked for a menu when they were seated for breakfast or queuing for lunch. . She shook her head no and added “hardly anyone”.
“I would say 98% of our customers never ask for a menu,” he said.
“We had regulars who came every day,” she said. “We’re so used to seeing them and knowing what they’re going to order that if they don’t come in, we get worried. We start asking others about them, what happened or where are- they.”
When asked why she and her husband sold the restaurant, she replied, “It was just the right time.”
As a regular and from a family with a history in local dining, Hursey had mentioned to Kostas Hatzipanagiotou that he would be interested in buying the place if he ever wanted to sell.
When the couple was ready, Hursey jumped at the chance and signed ownership papers weeks after the Hatzipanagiotous declared they were ready.
“My goal is to keep everything the same,” he said. “I’m going to stay away. I come here to eat like I always have and to keep everyone happy. I wanted this place to continue not just for me, but for the community.”
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–Jill Doss-Raines is the food and restaurant editor for the Times-News. She’s always looking for advice on the Alamance County food scene. Contact me at [email protected]