Brookhaven’s ‘Bobbie Jean’s’ offers home-style barbecue specialties 

Published 1:00 pm Saturday, March 12, 2022

Patrick King had this one dream for a long time — to open up a shop to show off his cooking, while doing so in honor of two women very important to him — his mama and his grandma.

Barbara King, also known as “Bobbie Jean,” learned a lot from her mother, Loretha Smith Zimmerman. And King taught a lot to her son, Patrick.

Now Patrick King has a restaurant with his mom behind the counter and his grandmother’s photo watching over it all.

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“He always had this dream,” Mrs. King said. “He always had it and now look. Look at this.” She smiled and looked around at the spic-and-span older house located down from the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Government Building in Brookhaven. 

Comfortable wooden tables and chairs welcome diners and a big chalkboard spells out all the fixin’s available.

The Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting Wednesday to welcome in the new entrepreneurs. King hugged aunties and an uncle, numerous cousins and a lot of friends during the event.

“I welcome you all,” he said as he cut the red ribbon officially opening up Bobbie Jean’s Smokehouse. “It’s taken many, many years to get to this point, and I’m so proud to have my mama here.”

In addition to working with his mother, King had another motive to open up his place. “I hope to bring the community of Brookhaven together and use this business as a bridging gap for the community,” he explained. “I want to give people quality five-star food at an affordable one-star price.”

Mrs. King beamed with pride as her son spoke to guests. “I taught him how to cook and he put his own twist to it,” she said with her cheeks turning a little bit red. Her smile was huge, though. “It’s long been a dream of his.” 

Since childhood, King knew he wanted a restaurant. “It’s always been my childhood dream,” he said. “I always promised myself that I would do this before it was too late.”

King works on the ribs and other barbecue items, while his mother cooks the specialty items and desserts. He says he and his family run the place as a group and it’s keeping them close.

King thinks he’ll be known for his “King Corn” — a “yummy” corn on the cob that has bacon, cheeses, seasonings and a homemade house sauce added. He gave a knowing smile as he described it. “You gotta try it!” he told everyone assembled.

Bobbie Jean’s Smokehouse also does catering, parties, dinners and other get-togethers. They’ll also bring the party to you. 

“We do catering and we do on-site cooking for you, too” King said. “We’ll cook it right there while you’re having your party.” 

He said he thinks his ribs are the best in the tri-county area. 

“Only that far?” his wife, Natalie asked playfully. 

“Well, maybe the whole state, but you know,” and they both laughed.

Bobbie Jean’s Smokehouse is open Tuesday-Friday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and from 5-9 p.m. They are open 1-8 p.m. on Saturdays and closed Sunday and Monday. Call them at 601-265-2294.