Food & Drink

Jim Noble is making changes (including news on his barbecue)

Charlotte restaurateur Jim Noble is getting ready to make a few changes uptown and at SouthPark.
Charlotte restaurateur Jim Noble is getting ready to make a few changes uptown and at SouthPark. tsumlin@charlotteobserver.com

Barbecue watchers in Charlotte know that Jim Noble, the chef/owner of Rooster’s uptown and at SouthPark, King’s Kitchen uptown and the King’s Kitchen bakery, has been chasing the barbecue dream for a long time. Now you (and 90 or so of your closest friends) can get a taste, along with a few other new things coming up.

While Noble is still looking for a site for a barbecue restaurant, he’s added a mobile service, Noble Smoke, that offers barbecue for events.

“Just getting people to know a little about it,” he said Thursday. “I’ve been wanting to do it for probably 25 years. I keep pushing it back, you know?”

Noble Smoke’s Mobile Smoke Menu focuses on heritage farm pork and ribs, Ashley Farms chicken and smoked wings, as well as brisket, along with a list of sides that will be familiar to fans of Rooster’s and Kings Kitchen, such as pan-fried corn, collards and succotash. It’s $20 a person for 8 ounces of meat and two or three sides, with a minimum of $1,800. (That would be about 90 people, depending on what you order.)

In the meantime, Noble is planning to add to the Rooster location in SouthPark. While the uptown Rooster and King’s Kitchen will stay the same, he’s moving the King’s Kitchen Bakery operation from Church Street, around the corner from the restaurant, to the SouthPark Rooster.

He’s also adding two private rooms, a catering kitchen and a charcuterie operation there, including heritage meats such as Ossabaw pig hams. (Ossabaw pigs are an old breed that are believed to have come to America from Spain several hundred years ago.)

He expects the expansion, including the bakery, to take about six months. After that, he’s hoping to add a retail space with bread and charcuterie for sale.

Noble, who is known for using his King’s Kitchen to do good works, has been traveling all over to explore barbecue, including a trip to Texas. Brisket is the barbecue he’s been working on the hardest, he says.

Franklin’s (in Austin) is the pinnacle and I think we’re getting close.”

Kathleen Purvis: 704-358-5236, @kathleenpurvis

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