The Georgia Virtue Business Spotlight Series features local businesses that function as the backbone of our communities. The series is sponsored by Bulloch Solutions.
Butts N Brews is a new business in town for Bubba Hunt, but he’s no stranger to BBQ or business. The spot has been two decades in the making and it’s only just begun.
Hunt has been a ‘BBQ guy’ for at least the last twenty years and what was once just a tailgating hobby morphed into a sport of sorts when, in 2013, he and a team won a grand championship BBQ event. That’s the year that Butts N Brews, the competition team comprised of Scott Sanders, Dana Capron, Joey Ellrod, and Hunt, went to the BBQ World Championship in Las Vegas. Ever since, they’ve catered events and tailgates with whole hogs and hams (and more!), but it always remained a side gig.
Opening a BBQ restaurant was a consideration Hunt had for the last few years, but ‘just the right location’ had yet to be found. In early 2022, he was approached about purchasing the Smoque Pitt on South Main Street – a spot in downtown Statesboro for the last four years. Everything moved pretty quickly from there: the transition began in February with Hunt assuming full control around March 15. The new sign out front is about all people noticed in difference…at first.
That’s because the beloved staple items from the menu are here to stay, Hunt said in an interview, and he and his team didn’t miss a beat during the changeover. Of course, Hunt and his team have tweaked how things are cooked on a few menu items so as to include his own original flair in the process, but the fundamentals are the same. Excluding the occasional experiments, the mouth watering brisket, ribs, turkey, pork, smoked wings, and sides that lure the loyal customer base are stil all the rage. More on the menu here.
Butts N Brews is thriving under its new ownership. Whether it’s folks craving the menu created under The Smoque Pitt or BBQ newbies traveling to pop in to see what an old friend is up to, Butts N Brews stays busy six days a week – even with the considerable roadwork that’s interrupted businesses all along the Blue Mile for months.
Hunt isn’t managing the restaurant from afar – he’s all in…and then some, when needed. It’s not unusual for him to spend several hours a day smoking meat but at a minimum, he stops by in the morning and again at lunch, he said. “This is what I do anyways, though. It’s like I told my wife: `If I was at home, I’d be over at the barn cooking barbeque and now I’m just at a restaurant doing it as a business.”
The End of Bubba’s Real Estate Empire?
Absolutely not. Butts N Brews is merely in addition to the Re/Max Eagle Creek Realty enterprise, Motto Mortgage, and the insurance brokerage based in Statesboro. In fact, the blessings of real estate have afforded Hunt the ability to pursue his passion in barbeque in such a big way.
“How do I do this with everything else I do? It’s what I’ve been doing for 31 years,” Hunt said, reflecting on his time in the pawn shop and used car business. “It’s all about who you have working for you.”
“This is my passion. This is what I love to do.” Hunt mentioned an article on Dolan’s, another Statesboro BBQ restaurant, in which the owner referred to BBQ as ‘a labor of love.’ “It truly is. People don’t realize what goes into a boston butt or a brisket where you have to season it, and then you have to smoke it, and you’re using wood to do it and there’s someone to oversee that process.”
“I’m just a businessman that wants to share my passion. I want this to be a destination with a great experience,” Hunt shared.
Growth Ahead for Butts N Brews
First up for expansion is what’s in the namesake: brews. A bar is forthcoming with kegs on tap with a balanced variety of domestic and imported beers. The spot, Hunt says, has room from growth, but not too much…and that’s just as he prefers it. “I’m fine with this. I’m all about service.”
Recently added as well is the Butts N Brew Sunday brunch option. It’s hard to imagine people waiting in a parking lot to pick up an order early in the morning, but the line forms for fried chicken and waffles before the doors even open.
And then there’s the catering. Weddings, parties, sporting events – they can and will do it all. Butts N Brews is booking events as far out as you’re trying to plan. For a well-rounded approach to events, Butts N Brews plans to fold in alcohol and bartending into the catering component when the full bar is operational.
Otherwise, the BBQ shack-dive bar-esque spot that Butts N Brews already is is exactly what Hunt wants it to be. “This is going to be a place where people can just come…and hang out. Eat, have a drink or two, and just enjoy themselves,” Hunt said of what he envisions.
“I’m all about having a good time and that’s what I want this place to be.”
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday: 11am – 9pm
Sunday: 11am – 4pm
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