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Once Upon a Time in Lubbock – Underwood’s Bar-B-Q Cafeteria

Underwood's Lubbock
Photo courtesy: Underwood’s Bar-B-Q

In this installment of Once Upon a Time in Lubbock, we look at a BBQ joint that has been gone A LONG TIME, but you can still enjoy if you travel!

Underwood’s Bar-B-Q. Just mention the name to a certain generation and I guarantee you will see their mouth water.

Credit: Underwood's BBQ Brownwood
Credit: Underwood’s BBQ Brownwood

Underwood’s started in the 1930s with the first take-out location in Brownwood opening in the late 1940’s. The Lubbock location opened in 1949.

From Underwood’s:

Morris and his older brother, Jimmy, left Brownwood in 1948 and started opening Bar-B-Q stands across West Texas. A year after opening a stand in the booming town of Lubbock in 1949, Morris added a Dining Room, set up a cafeteria line, and created the menu that made Underwood’s famous. His inspiration for all those country, family style foods came from Mama Underwood an old-fashion “Lady” who cooked everything from scratch, every day for her family of 8 sons.  Soon after the success of the Lubbock store, Jimmy opened a Cafeteria style Dining Room in Abilene.

At the company’s peak, there were more than thirty Underwood’s locations, as well as a frozen food plant in Lubbock that supplied bar-b-q to grocery stores in California and the Southwest.”

In 1979, during a kitchen renovation, a one-alarm fire took the lives of three Lubbock firefighters, according to the Lubbock Fire Department.

The Lubbock location closed shortly before the building of I-27 in the mid-1980s.

Credit: Google Maps
Credit: Google Maps

The location Lubbock enjoyed was at 711 34th Street, which recently housed Exitos nightclub. (The club is now closed, but the building is for sale.)

And on a funny side note, I used to go to Exitos when I worked for a Tejano station, and I swear if you sniffed hard enough you could still smell BBQ sauce.

Credit: Underwood's BBQ
Credit: Underwood’s BBQ

Their specialty, besides BBQ, is the hot rolls and cherry cobbler.

The best part is, even though they are no longer in Lubbock, you can make the drive to Brownwood and still enjoy some cobbler and rolls. I stop there every time I go to Brownwood!

Have you ever had Underwood’s? Let us know in the comments!




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