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Memphis Barbeque Closes, At Least Temporarily

by ARLnow.com January 11, 2013 at 3:55 pm 1,308 25 Comments

Memphis Barbeque in Crystal CityMemphis Barbeque restaurant (320 23rd Street S.) in Crystal City has closed, and it’s not clear if it will ever re-open.

The restaurant has “closed for reorganization,” according to its website, and as pointed out in the ARLnow.com Forums earlier this week. The restaurant’s phone number has been disconnected and its owner could not be reached for clarification.

The restaurant opened in December 2011. It’s owned by Memphis native and restaurant veteran Chris George, who recruited Redrick Rayborn, formerly the manager of a Memphis-area barbecue restaurant, to serve as “pit master.”

The 5,500 square foot space included a 54-seat bar and a 170-seat dining room. Rock ‘n’ roll and Memphis-related memorabilia adorned the walls.

“When I walked past the shop earlier this week they had moved the planters out of the way and it looked like they had removed some stuff already,” a tipster told ARLnow.com today.

The Memphis Barbeque website asks customers to “please check back for future developments” but doesn’t otherwise say definitively whether the restaurant will re-open.

At least one remnant of the restaurant is still alive and well, though. The Memphis Barbeque Facebook page has not yet mentioned the closing and today asked its 55 followers what they would rather be doing at the moment instead of work.

  • JB

    Maybe they’re just working on some improvements to make it more female friendly.

  • fedworker

    I noticed that they’ve posted onto FB this past Wed and last week, too. Maybe some other reality ‘star’ will open up a pet-friendly sports bar in the concrete jungle we call Crystal City. Its not a good location for a froyo,

  • joe hoya

    It sounds like Memphis BBQ employees are about to have a chance to do something other than work.

    • M

      They closed without telling any of their employees in advance.

  • SMDC

    Too bad — I’ve really enjoyed this place! Good addition the the nabe.

  • novasteve

    You know what Arlington could use? A german beer hall. Not some outdoor place, but an indoor place.

    • Reading 101

      off topic (again)

      • Dezlboy


    • Sunshine

      Yay! Oktoberfest in Arlington. I’d be very happy about that!

    • Opie

      See, you need to write a column here called “You know what Arlington could use?”.

      And that food guy can keep doing the Grandpa Jones schtick in something called “What’s for lunch Arlington?”

      • ARL’er

        Most people already know what he would suggest for Arlington. No thanks.

  • TBCC

    How did this place close and Charlie Chiang’s next door still open for business? I never see anyone in Charlie Chiang’s. Another thing is that Memphis Barbecue has crazy black tinted windows that don’t invite any patrons inside. It’s like a wall keeping people out. Maybe they need to thing about their exterior and offer Crystal City residents discounts to bring back the business. But maybe it’s too late…

    • Alex

      Agreed about Charlie Chiang’s and the tinted windows that made Memphis BBQ always look closed. Ditto For BWW – you can never tell if they’re open! Hope Memphis BBQ comes back, I always liked the place. But the story sounds a little shady so my hopes aren’t too high…

    • Deadite

      Hey guys here’s a clue: if it’s between the hours of 11am and 11pm the restaurant is probably open.

      • Alex

        No crap. Our point was that it could have looked a little more lively.

  • ArlingTony

    I’ve never seen more than a single table of people in Charlie Chiang’s and they always seem to be in the process of closing for the night when I walk past. 10 pm – starting to close. Next day 8 pm – starting to close. Day after that 2 pm – all the chairs on the tables and getting ready to close for the day.

    They should knock down the walls between Chiang’s and the BBQ place and turn it into a bowling alley. Keep the bar. Destination location for Crystal City.

    • TBCC

      You are right…it might be a good location for a Lucky Strike Bowling Alley if they knock it out the walls to both Charlie’s and Memphis. I’m just still shocked on how much square footage Charlie Chiang’s leases, but yet, has no customers. I know rent is not that cheap in the area.

    • Deadite

      Bowling alley would definitely be great.

    • ARL’er

      Deliveries and take-out might account for most of their revenue. But I don’t know for sure.

    • WeiQiang

      maybe the folks who opened H Street Country Club could open ‘Crystal City Country Club’ … indoor mini golf and booze!

  • spelling Nazi

    Perhaps God struck it down for not spelling “barbecue” correctly.

  • Willy The Shake

    Alas, we hardly knew ye………….

  • ViennaRules

    The service there was beyond terrible.

  • Edward Dings

    It’s no wonder – hush puppies were good, the ‘que was only average and the service was awful. and their attitudes were awful. perhaps they thought they were being “authentic memphis” but they were just hurting themselves. i predicted it and now you know.,

  • CG

    The owner was from memphis but knew “nothing” about Memphis Bar-B-Que or operating a restaurant


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