Last week a fire at Hinze’s BBQ in Wharton shut the restaurant down indefinitely. The fire began as a grease fire in the pit, but quickly spread. The building was a total loss, but the owners have vowed to rebuild.

That’s not always the case. A fire can be emotionally and financially devastating to a small business, and many never recover. Here’s a look at some recent fires at Texas barbecue joints along with their current status since the tragic event. With an active fire required to cook barbecue, it’s a wonder so many of these are caused by electrical issues. You’ll also notice that two of these businesses closed for good after fires on the same day.

Bert’s BBQ in Austin
When: January 18, 2007
Cause: Electrical, and 911 operator error
Status: Reopened in a new location August 15, 2012

Fire Bert's BBQ

Photo from the restaurant’s website

Williams Smokehouse in Houston
When: December 18, 2007
Cause: An electrical short
Status: Never reopened

Fire Williams SmokehousePhoto from

Thelma’s BBQ in Houston
When: January 30, 2009
Cause: Fire in the pit chimney
Status: Reopened in a new location that is now closed

Fire Thelma's BBQ

Photo from the Houston Press

Joe Cotten’s BBQ in Robstown
When: March 2, 2011
Cause: Not determined, but electrical suspected
Status: Never reopened

Fire Joe Cotten's BBQ

Photo from the Caller Times

Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que in San Angelo
When: March 2, 2011
Cause: Pit fire
Status: Never Reopened

Fire Old Time BBQ

Photo from Go San Angelo 

Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse in Dallas
When: September 27, 2011
Cause: Fire in the pit chimney
Status: Reopened October 7, 2011

Fire Sonny Bryans

Ramage Farms in Hooks
When: October 7, 2011
Cause: Pit fire
Status: Never reopened

30 Ramage

Joseph’s Riverport Barbecue in Jefferson
When: January 15, 2012
Cause: Electrical short
Status: Reopened June 28, 2012

Fire Riverport

Hutchins BBQ in McKinney
When: June 17, 2012
Cause: Not determined
Status: Reopened November 15, 2012

Fire Hutchins bbq

Photo from the Dallas Morning News

Cooper’s Old Time Pit BBQ in Fort Worth
When: January 7, 2013
Cause: Pit fire
Status: Reopened January 25, 2013

Coopers FW

Central Texas Style Bar-B-Q in Pearland
When: January 15, 2013
Cause: Pit fire
Status: Reopened January 17, 2013

Fire Central Texas BBQ

Photo from Central Texas Style Bar-B-Q

Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor
When: February 23, 2013
Cause: Grease fire in the pit
Status: Reopened March 2, 2013

Fire Louie Mueller

Photo from Louie Mueller Barbecue

Hinze’s BBQ in Wharton
When: August 4, 2014
Cause: Grease fire in the pit
Status: Plans to reopen

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Let’s hope that the story for Hinze’s ends like so many other successful turnarounds. As they say on their website, “We will be back in full operation, bigger and better!”