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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
Curly's/Facebook

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."

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