Browning on Business: Barbecue restaurant back open in Columbus

February 27, 2014 11:09:40 AM

William Browning - wbrowning@cdispatch.com

 

An east Columbus barbecue restaurant is back. 

 

The Pit and Cone opened its doors at 710 Alabama St. on Friday. The restaurant was located at 302 Tuscaloosa Rd. for years but closed in mid-January. It opened at its new location under new ownership and management. 

 

Charles Thompson, who retired from the Air Force roughly two and a half years ago, is the man behind the re-opening. The menu consists of brisket, ribs, rib tips, smoked chicken, hamburgers and more. But the specialty, Thompson said, is the barbecue. Everything smoked at The Pit and Cone is smoked in-house. 

 

The restaurant currently sells vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream. With spring and summer approaching, the hand-dipped ice cream menu will expand to include eight flavors. Thompson is in the process of working out details but it will likely be Blue Bunny or Blue Bell brand. Milkshakes are part of the future, too. 

 

The Pit and Cone is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The number for call-ins is 662-570-1632. 

 

Side note: Where did the term "barbecue" come from? Several theories exist. My favorite: In the Southeast in the 1800s some businesses advertised having a whiskey bar, beer hall, pool tables and roasted pig. That became bar, beer, cue and pig, which became bar-b-cue pig, which became barbecue. 

 

Speaking of beer, New Belgium Brewing is bringing its craft beers to Mississippi. The brewing company, based in Fort Collins, Colo., will have its items on Golden Triangle shelves beginning Monday. Mitchell Distributing is the local distributor. 

 

The beers that will be sold as part of the initial rollout are Ranger IPA, Snapshot Wheat, Shift, Trippel, 1554 and Fat Tire, according to Bryan Simpson, New Belgium Brewing public relations director.  

 

The Smoke Stack, a West Point business that carries a wide variety of brewskis, will have the New Belgium Brewery beers "very early Monday," said Phillip Portera, who owns the store. Portera said Fat Tire has been the most requested beer at The Smoke Stack for years. 

 

Mississippi is the 36th state New Belgium Brewery beers have come to. 

 

If beer isn't your thing, how about this: Cheerwine, a nearly century-old North Carolina-based soft drink that advertises itself as having "a hint of wild cheery and a bubbly effervescence," can now be bought in the Golden Triangle. 

 

The Pepsi Bottling Company in Columbus has been distributing the drink for roughly a month. The distributor expects more businesses to begin stocking the item soon. Cheerwine is also available in some Starkville locations. 

 

Lastly, Urgent Team, a family of urgent care centers based in Nashville, Tenn., now has three locations in the Golden Triangle. 

 

The Columbus location, at 1503 Highway 45 N., and the Starkville location, 500 Russell St., Suite 3, have been in operation since November. The newest location, in West Point at 710 Highway 45 Alt., opened Monday. Each clinic employs roughly 10 people. 

 

Phil O'Nan, area manager for Urgent Team of Golden Triangle, said the West Point location had 24 patients on its first day. The Clay County community has been underserved and with Yokohama building a plant in West Point, O'Nan said, Urgent Team is excited about the clinic's future. 

 

The clinics welcome walk-ins. Each location is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., O'Nan said. 

 

Urgent Team began with a handful of urgent care centers around Nashville and now has 26 locations in Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi.