Dillard's Bar-B-Q: Back in Moderation

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There is a way back into Dillard's Bar-B-Q: host an event. The Durham restaurant, which closed in March after nearly 60 years in business, recently announced that it will open its doors for special occasions.

"If someone wants to hold an event in the restaurant, we'll rent the restaurant out," says Wilma Dillard, who ran her family's business until it closed last month due to an uncertain economy.

As for the new use of the former dining space, Dillard explains, "The building is still ours and it felt wrong to put someone else in it. I don't know how it will go, but I have nothing to lose by trying."

Since the restaurant closed, Dillard has taken on a new role as the marketing director at Chick-Fil-A on Hillsborough Road in Durham. But she still has her family's recipes close at hand.

In addition to Dillard's much loved mustard-dressed barbecue—something of an anomaly in North Carolina—her restaurant will offer some of the sides for which is was known, including carrot soufflé. Barbecue will be available for events outside of the building, too. Contact Dillard at the restaurant (919-544-1587) to schedule off-site catering, or to pick up barbecue on the last two Saturdays in May. Between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on May 21 and May 28, Dillard will open her doors to sell barbecue by the pound. "For anyone who calls, we'll have barbecue," she says. And with that, Dillard's is back, at least in moderation.

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