Stamey's BBQ / Lexington, NC / Greensboro, NC
In the fifties, Warner Stamey took a page from Carolina fish camps to bring the humble hush puppy into the world of barbecue, one of the many contributions made by this wandering legend.
Before that, barbecue was typically served with white bread or rolls. Warner constantly sought ways to innovate, frequently refining the design of his pits and creating a drive-in so that people could enjoy barbecue in their cars.
An understudy of fellow legends Jess Swicegood and Sid Weaver, Warner began making barbecue as a high schooler in Lexington. He moved to Shelby and opened his own place in 1930, teaching his brother-in-law, Alston Bridges, and Red Bridges (no relation) the Lexington way of things. His mark endures today through Bridge’s Barbecue Lodge and Alston Bridges Barbecue.
Warner returned to Lexington and took over Swicegood’s operation, along with several more. During this time, he also discipled Wayne Monk of Lexington Barbecue #1 fame. He later moved to Greensboro and opened yet another place on what was then High Point Road. Now this family business, run by his grandson Chip, is operating in their 91st year of business. Stamey’s is considered by many to have the best barbecue sandwich around. For all these reasons and more, it could be argued that no one is more responsible for the popularity of Lexington barbecue than Warner Stamey.