LITTLETON - A Sunday morning fire on Memorial Day weekend severely damaged Lake Gaston barbecue stand The Meat Up Spot, forcing the business to close for the foreseeable future.
Roanoke-Wildwood Volunteer Fire Department Chief Lorenzo Wilkins said about 80 percent of The Meat Up Spot mobile unit, fixed between Food Lion and Lake Life Clothing Company, was damaged, through flames or heavy smoke. There were no injuries.
The Meat Up Spot opened in October of 2020 and quickly became a favorite around the lake with sellouts the norm. Lunch lines on Saturday were about 10-people deep before a Roanoke-Wildwood fireman across the street at the Pit Stop spotted an alarming amount of smoke the following morning around 9:15 a.m.
“Earlier this morning, we had a fire on our smoking porch,” The Meat Up Spot owners William and Daniel Dunlow wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday. “... We’re grateful to our staff and the local fire department for reacting swiftly and professionally.
“The damage is pretty bad and unfortunately that means we will be unable to do business for quite some time. If you had pre-orders, we’re reaching out ASAP to refund you. We ask that you keep our family business in your prayers as we come up with the next steps, and get back to our passion of cooking barbecue as soon as possible.”
Roanoke-Wildwood, Longbridge Volunteer Fire Department and Warren County Rescue Squad were paged out at 9:20 a.m.
Wilkins said firefighters encountered flames coming through the top of the barbecue unit upon arrival, creating heavy smoke, and the chief believes the fire may have originated from a grease trap.
The Meat Up Spot’s barbecue is distinguishable by its wood flavor, cooked in an Old Hickory smoker by chef Tyler Smith.
“This is a true menu,” Daniel Dunlow told the Gazette-Observer in October. “A menu is not just what you offer. A menu is the story that you tell. And our menu tells the story of American barbecue done very well by (Tyler).”