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Shuttered Round Rock Barbecue Restaurant Curly's Carolina, TX Could Rise Again

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Barbecue critic Daniel Vaughn breaks down the pitfalls of the pit, including Curly's struggles with dinner service.

Curly's Last Day
Curly's Last Day

Texas Monthly's resident brisket obsessive Daniel Vaughn is here to tell you that just because your friends and family say you smoke a mean beef rib, that doesn't mean you should go into the barbecue business. In addition to breaking down the ins and outs of opening a successful barbecue trailer or restaurant in the crowded Texas market, Vaughn also gets the backstory on the much-mourned shutter of Curly's Carolina, TX in Round Rock:

Don't put more into than you're willing to lose" was the advice of Jay Yates. He closed Curly's Carolina, Texas Barbecue in Round Rock a couple months ago, but he doesn't have any hard feelings because he didn't overextend himself. . . .

He's an example of someone who followed most of these rules, and still had to pull up stakes. He ran two successful food trucks in underserved Round Rock, and had a faithful following. "I felt it was time to take it to the next level with the customer base that I had," he said about his decision to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant. But his lease became his undoing. He needed lunch and dinner revenue to cover his costs. "No matter what I tried, I couldn't get people to come into downtown Round Rock for dinner." Despite the setback, Yates isn't giving up on barbecue. "I'm not saying there's not a good chance that I'll reopen soon."