NC barbecue pitmaster reinvents himself as a painter after pandemic closes popular restaurant

North Carolina news

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — COVID-19 caused so many small businesses to shut their doors. Even some of the most popular restaurants in our area have closed permanently.

Before the pandemic, Bib’s Downtown in Winston-Salem was busy with people ordering barbecue and brisket. But when restaurants closed indoor dining and the catering business completely dried up, Bib’s struggled. 

By the end of 2020, the owners made the very difficult decision to close their doors. Co-owner and Pitmaster Mark Little says it left him in a very dark place. 

“I would spend my days literally walking around the house, in my yard, just looking for something to do, and just wondering what I was going to do. What am I going to do now at 60? Where am I going to go? And, I just started going to my studio.”

Mark started painting to pass the time and ended up creating dozens of pieces. Now, his work is selling at an art gallery in Mount Airy. 

Shannon Smith shows us how a chef found a second career as an artist.

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