This is your last chance to dine-in at this beloved West Texas-style BBQ joint

LEMON GROVE, Calif. (FOX 5/KUSI) — A West Texas-style barbecue restaurant in East County its firing up it’s smoker one last time this weekend — sort of.

Known by many as Coop’s BBQ, this Lemon Grove joint announced on social media Thursday that this weekend would be their last as an operational storefront.

“Good folks we had to make a really tough decision to close the restaurant,” owners Brad and Tara Cooper stated on Instagram. “Our last day is Sunday, March 17, 2024, so come support us as we enter this new phase.”

This decision was “really tough” to make, the Coopers explained to FOX 5.

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About two months ago, the barbecue dynasty duo started a GoFundMe page as a way to help with operational expenses after seeing a major decline in business over the past few years amid the pandemic.

Despite those efforts, the decision was still made to close the doors to Lemon Grove’s West Texas-inspired restaurant.

“I’ve been thinking about the possibility of having to close for about a year or so,” Tara said. “Once the economy shifted post-COVID, I had a feeling that things would never get back to normal — business that is. Inflation has killed a lot of businesses in the last 2 years and ours is no exception.”

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The Cooper’s, however, consider this a step forward as their brand now has its sights set on a new venture — catering and pop-up events around San Diego County. This is something they have always done but now hope to enhance.

This news may come as a relief for those who still wish to indulge in the brand’s meaty goodness. Their legacy of barbecuing pork ribs, beef brisket, jerk chicken and more is sure to continue on moving forward.

Brad Cooper
Brad Cooper

Tara said they are hoping to start collaborating with local breweries, wineries and other establishments across the region. Their pop-up events will be announced on their social media account. And for those interested in booking a catering service, inquiries can be made here.

Looking back at their time as barbecuers in East County, Tara expressed pride in the fact that people would come all the way from Los Angeles and Orange counties to enjoy their food in Lemon Grove.

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“The barbecue community has grown in San Diego since I started in 2010. Coop’s was pretty much the only Texas barbecue joint in San Diego for a while,” Tara continued. “Now the are several barbecue joints throughout the county and everyone seems pretty cool with each other.  I like sharing information and advice with some of the new guys when I get a chance.”

For those who wish to have one last bite inside the restaurant, Coop’s BBQ will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday before closing their doors for good.

“We love and appreciate all who have been supporting us for 13 years,” said the Coopers. “Do not worry, this is not the end but a new beginning.”

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