Skylight Inn BBQ
To Pitt County locals, what is known as Skylight Inn is Pete Jones’ Barbecue. It is located on Lee Street in Ayden, North Carolina.
Pete Jones opened the restaurant in 1947. He was 17 years old at the time. The restaurant has grown into one of the best barbecue joints in eastern North Carolina. The restaurant has a rich family history.
Skylight Inn is known for the way they cook their meats. Not surprisingly, they have stuck to the traditional method of roasting meat using wood. A Skylight Inn BBQ specialty is its whole hog barbecue. The pig is cooked in a traditional North Carolinian fashion.
Pete Jones passed away in 2006. This was a huge blow to his customers and staff. However, since it is a family business, the restaurant was taken over by Pete’s son, Bruce. Bruce Jones has partnered with other members of his family, including;
· Jeff Jones – Pete’s nephew and Bruce’s cousin.
· Sam Jones – Pete’s grandson and Bruce’s nephew.
Together, the family has been working to maintain the legacy that Pete Jones built.
The restaurant offers a little variety in meats. Some of the available options are;
Pork is the restaurant’s main attraction. The portions are served in small, medium, and large. Each pork tray comes with one side and bread. You can also get a sandwich for $5.
Barbecue is served in portions per pound. With this, you can opt to order only the meat. It will cost you $12.50. In case you wish to order the barbecue with bread or slaw, you will pay $15.
3. Yard bird
The yard bird option is chicken. This option has a number of different servings to choose from. These include;
· Quarter chicken – Goes for $4.50
· Half chicken – Priced at $7
· Small chicken Plate – Includes a quarter serving of chicken. This costs $8.75
· Large chicken plate – Includes a half serving of chicken. It costs $11.50
· Barbecue and chicken combination – This costs $12.50
· Whole chicken – Goes for $13
All the side dishes at the restaurant are made from scratch. The available sides include;
· Cornbread – The cornbread can be served in slices or as a whole cake. A slice goes for 75 cents while the whole cake is $3.50
· Slaw – Slaw is measured in a pint, quart or gallon. These are $6, $10, and $24 respectively.
· Potato salad – Potato salad is measured as a pint, for $6, a quart for $10.50 and a gallon for $35
· Baked beans – Like most other servings, the baked beans are measured in a pint, for $6, a quart, for $10.50 and a quart for $35
The restaurant offers two options for dessert. These are;
Banana pudding: This costs $3.25
Cake: The cake is served in slices. A slice costs $2
The restaurant offers tea and soft drinks. Both go for $2
Previously, the Skylight Inn Barbecue only received payment in cash. These days they accept both credit and debit cards as payment.
Skylight Inn Barbecue has received recognition from many reputable publications and organizations. Some of these include;
1. National Geographic – National Geographic mentioned Skylight Inn Barbecue. This was in a book titled Back Roads America. The book was published in 1979. The book made a list of some of the best barbecue joints in the nation. Skylight Inn Barbecue got to make it to the list.
2. Southern Living Magazine – Sam Jones, was mentioned in Southern Living Magazine. This was in 2012. The publication recognized him as one of the best 10 pitmasters in southern North Carolina.
3. People Magazine – featured the restaurant in 1991.
4. GQ Magazine
The restaurant has also featured in various television networks. Some of the networks that the Pete Jones Barbecue has been featured are;
1. Travel Channel
2. Food Network
3. History Channel
4. CBS Morning Show
James Beard Award
The most prestigious award that the restaurant has received is the James Beard Award. This is the highest form of recognition in the culinary world. The award was received in 2003. It was in a new category at the time. The award was given to restaurants that were “America’s Classics”. Skylight Inn got one of four of the awards.
Skylight Inn Barbecue Online Store
The restaurant produces great branded merchandise. There is a variety of clothing and decorative items available for purchase. The available items are:
The t-shirts are $20 each.
There are different t-shirts to choose from. These include;
· Skylight Inn “Choppin” Tee
· Whole Hog Tee
· Skylight Inn “Patch” Tee
· Skylight Inn Good Butt Tee
Hats go for $20 each.
The hats are of two colors, Grey and Green. The grey hat has a brown patch with the Skylight Inn Barbecue logo. The green hat has a tan logo.
3. Barbecue Sauce
This is the original barbecue sauce. The recipe has been used since the restaurant began operating. It is vinegar-based. The sauce can be used on both pork and chicken. It is 17.25 ounces. It costs $7.
The items bought from the online store can be returned only if;
· It is unused or in new condition.
· It is not damaged.
· The item was bought within 30 days of it being returned.
You can pack up the item and ship it back to the warehouse. The address to the warehouse can be found on the restaurant’s website. You will need to wait for five to seven business days to receive a refund on returned items.
The only items that cannot be returned are those on sale.
The restaurant is open every week from Monday to Saturday. Operation hours are between 10 am to 7 pm. The restaurant remains closed every Sunday. Skylight Inn Barbecue is known for its whole hog barbecue. The pig is cooked in a traditional North Carolinian fashion. This attracts many, some who know of the recipe and others who wish to experience it. Next time you are in Arden, or the larger North Carolina area, pass by the restaurant. You are sure to leave amazed at the food served. You can get a barbecue sandwich, a plate, or pick it by the pound.