Home of the big pig

In a trailer on Pine Road, JR’s BBQ is a hidden gem

by Bradley Hartsell

alt

Nat Brown, owner of JR’s BBQ, cooks some barbecue on his 750-gallon smoker. Brown says he cooks more than 400 pounds of meat every week. 


On Pine Road south of Newnan there’s a 750-gallon pig smoking more than 80 pounds of meat a day.

It all gets served in a trailer about 20 yards away. The whole setup is eye-catching, yet secretive at the same time.

Nat Brown opened JR’s BBQ, named after his son, in April 2011. His wife, Angie, says when her husband was looking for work in 2010, he came up with the idea of a restaurant.

“He used to barbecue in the backyard all the time, and he’s good at it,” Angie Brown says of her husband, who has a smoker in their backyard. “He loves to do barbecue.”

Nat Brown grew up on Corinth Road and he and his wife live right off of Pine these days. The land on which JR’s sits is owned by Brown’s aunt and uncle. He talked to them about his idea of opening a food trailer on the land, but they were skeptical. To them, the location wasn’t right for a barbecue joint.

“Everybody we talked to said we wouldn’t last three months,” Brown said. His uncle and aunt relented, though, and agreed to host the site of JR’s BBQ. Brown initially started out in an 8-foot by 12-foot trailer that he admits was fairly beat up and a little claustrophobic. He converted the 750-gallon water tank, so heavy it takes a wrecker to pick up, into a smoker, then found someone in Grantville to weld the pig design. Now it sits on the edge of the road as a welcome to passersby.

Now at two and a half years old, JR’s is proving the predictions wrong.

“I’ve always heard if you serve good food at fair prices, you’ll make it,” Nat Brown said. JR’s, operating on a mom-and-pop budget, gets by on word of mouth. Tucked away on Pine Road just up from the fairgrounds, they’ve managed to amass a set of regulars who walk up and as Brown puts it, “know exactly what they want.”

Every morning, Brown wakes up around 7 a.m. to light the fire and get everything in order to start the day. He’ll go back home for a couple hours, then come back to open up the newly upgraded 8-foot by 16-foot trailer for business. Brown says he cooks at least 400 pounds of meat a week.

“This ain’t no eight-hour job,” said Brown with a laugh.

“It’s long hours in preparation for the day, but he loves it,” added his wife. “It’s good to enjoy your job and he certainly does.”

The Browns say they oftentimes see cars drive down Pine, only to turn around and drop in for some barbecue. The regulars have discovered it already and the Browns are hoping more people find a smokey surprise coming off Pine, turn around and stop by.




More Close Up

Lessons on India

Former UWG president speaks to Rotary

Dr. Beheruz Sethna presented on the positives and negatives of India to the Newnan Rotary Club on Oct. 10. Sethna acted as University of Wes ... Read More


Community Calendar

The LaGrange Symphony Orchestra season opens on Oct. 21 with Celebrating Stage and Screen, conducted by guest conductor Richard Prior. The O ... Read More


Focus on the Family

Be open with son about circumstances of adoption

Q: We adopted our son at birth and have raised him in a loving home. Now that he's a teenager, he's obsessed with the fact that he's adopted ... Read More


Weekender: See & Do

• Southern Ground Social Club, 18 Main St., Senoia, Fri., Oct. 17, New Orleans soul singer Kristin Diable will perform with The City an ... Read More


Going once... Going twice...

Well-known artists in the community enter auction

Will Sumpter racked his brain for the best way to give local art a worthy platform and to finally came up with a solution: an auction at the ... Read More

Island Appeal

Twisted Peelz lets the food do the talking

When Sean Medford moved to Newnan from New York City, there was definitely some culture shock. As a longtime resident of the Jamaica Q ... Read More