HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - After meeting at church, fast friends Richard Christian, aka "Bubba," and Frank Parrish decided they had all the ingredients to open up a BBQ joint. That was in Carrollton in 2008.
"It was also the fall of the economy and kinda tough on us," said Parrish.
Frank's southern recipes and Bubba's restaurant knowledge were the perfect combo for Bubba-N-Frank's Smokehouse.
"We have grown double digits every year," Parrish said.
Twelve years and four locations later, the food is carrying them through with their mouthwatering North Carolina BBQ, ribs, brisket, smoked burgers and so much more.
"If we would have known this was coming with the coronavirus, we would have run and not signed on the dotted line," said Parrish.
In June 2020, they opened their new Kempsville location, where things haven't been as appetizing as they'd hoped.
"It's been pretty darn slow. We can't do promotions, and people just aren't trying new restaurants right now," he said.
Four months later, another blow. Frank lost his other half.
"That was one of the most traumatic things of my life," Parrish said.
At age 60, Bubba fell down in his driveway and died instantly of a massive heart attack.
"He was bringing groceries in. That's when I last saw him," he explained.
But Frank is carrying on through all the twists, turns, triumphs and tragedies because that's what Bubba would want.
"He would want us to continue to grow," Frank said.
The motto at Bubba-N-Frank's is "Real Food, Real Good," with a heaping side of family, faith and flavor.
"You are going to get quality every time," Parrish said,
The restaurant is holding its Re-Grand Opening Celebration at the Kempsville location on June 12. For more information click here.