Print
Restaurants

Primal BBQ Prepares For Opening

By Jessica Maurer, posted Dec 9, 2020
Primal BBQ at Lumina Commons off Eastwood Road is expected to open this month. (Photo by Cece Nunn)
Almost a year since signing a lease for his space in Lumina Commons, James Romano is putting the finishing touches on Primal BBQ and planning a soft opening for mid-December.

Romano experienced a wide range of delays, including unforeseen repairs and construction setbacks due to COVID-19, as well as a general concern for opening a new restaurant during a global pandemic.

But Romano is confident that between the news of vaccinations on the horizon and the fact that his model works well for carryout, his concept will be well-received.

Romano has a wide range of experience in the restaurant industry, having worked both front- and back-of-house positions since the age of 16.

He said it was his experience as the general manager of a high-volume fast food chain that taught him the importance of controlling food and labor costs, two aspects of the business he feels are essential for the success of a restaurant.

“I learned so much from that position but I didn’t enjoy the work,” Romano said. “I figured if I was going to be putting in all that work I might as well be working for myself.”

Romano was also part of the opening team at Whole Foods in 2012, serving as kitchen manager. He said it was there that he developed much of his current skill set, working with smoked meats and a wide range of side dishes.

“Italian food has always been my comfort zone,” Romano said. “But there’s enough of that here in town. I felt like for an Eastern North Carolina town, barbecue is really under-represented.”

Romano has been experimenting with smoking meats at home for years, but when it was time to select a smoker for the restaurant, he selected the same one he used at Whole Foods, an Ole Hickory convection-based unit for which he will use three types of wood to smoke his meats: hickory, applewood and cherrywood.

He plans to offer brisket, St. Louis-style pork ribs, pulled pork and smoked chicken wings, thighs and drumsticks. He makes four hand-crafted rubs and eight sauces as well as all of Primal’s sides in-house.

Sides will include braised cabbage with bacon, cole slaw, beans, mac and cheese and mashed potatoes, with additional rotating selections down the road.

“We’ve put a lot of time into perfecting our smoking process,” Romano said. “And I think people are really going to love our sauces.”

Primal will serve USDA Prime brisket and all of the wings will be brined, coated in a rub, smoked and then fried before being tossed in sauce.

Romano plans to have a blackboard menu that will change slightly each week, and customers can access a QR code to pull up the current menu at any time or follow Primal BBQ on social media for current offerings.

Romano said that in addition to serving delicious food, his focus is on providing top-notch customer service in a welcoming environment.

Primal will have seating for 24 guests under the current guidelines, as well as a few outdoor tables at the front of the restaurant.

Catering for larger orders is available with a 24-hour notice, and designated curbside pickup parking will be available.

Primal BBQ is located at 1988 Eastwood Road in Lumina Commons. Follow @PrimalBBQWilmington on social media for updates on opening dates and times.

Have a tip for Restaurant Roundup? Email us at: [email protected].
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Dallasromanowski headshotcopy

Love Can’t Be Blind: Preparing for a Business Transfer to Children or Insiders

Dallas Romanowski - Cornerstone Business Advisors
Drewsmith copiersplus headshot

A Little More Communication, A Lot More Cohesion

Drew Smith - Copiers Plus
Burrus rob headshot 300x300

Keep on the Lookout: Cameron School of Business Star Graduates Enter the Workforce

Robert Burrus - Cameron School of Business - UNC-Wilmington

Trending News

Murchison Building Downtown Sold For $8.25M

Johanna F. Still - Aug 12, 2022

With Home Sales Down In July, Realtors Struggle To Choose 'sweet Spot' Prices

Cece Nunn - Aug 12, 2022

Local Film Projects Building Sizeable Spend; New TV Series Announced For September

Jenny Callison - Aug 12, 2022

In The Current Issue

Schools Face Nursing Shortage Crises

The pandemic-induced havoc on hospitals around the country still ricochets across systems today. A dire trend accelerated and emerged: a sho...


Film Focus: Printing The Scene

Port City Signs & Graphics "does everything for their set in the way of decals, magnets, backdrop items, canvas art, vehicle graphics and se...


Borrowers Seek Adjustable-rate Perks

During recent years when interest rates were at rock-bottom levels, borrowers have kept adjustable-rate mortgages at arm’s length. But now,...

Book On Business

The 2022 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

Trying to Grow a Business?
2020 Health Care Heroes
2020 WilmingtonBiz 100