GOLDSBORO, N.C. (WNCT) — One of the original owners of the famous Wilbur’s BBQ in Goldsboro has passed away.
Wilberdean Shirley was 90. News of his death was reported on the restaurant’s Twitter page on Monday.
The Twitter post read, “It with a heavy heart we share that Mr. Wilberdean Shirley has gone to be with the Lord. We are grateful for all he has done for the community and ask that you lift his family up in your prayers during this time.”
Dean was living in a retirement community in Kinston at the time of his death.
The restaurant opened on July 24, 1961 and quickly became one of the to-go-to places for BBQ in North Carolina. The business closed in March of 2019 after struggling to pay taxes. On Nov. 8, 2019, a group of investors, Goldpit Partners, LLC, purchased the restaurant, CBS affiliate WNCN reports.
The coronavirus pandemic, in part, delayed some aspects of the reopening but the business was serving the public again on July 15, 2020 with curbside and online orders.