How A Restaurant Closure Led To The Creation Of Stubb's BBQ Sauce

You know the saying: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. C.B. Stubblefield, the man behind Stubb's Bar-B-Q Sauce, learned this lesson the hard way. According to Southern Living, Stubblefield (or Stubb, as his friends called him) was inspired to open a barbecue restaurant after serving in the army during the Korean War, but the business was doomed to fail.

In 1968, he opened Stubb's Legendary Bar-B-Q in Lubbock, Texas. It became known for its delicious food and its stature as a music venue. Stubblefield had a knack for cooking, but he wasn't good at financially managing his business (via Texas Monthly). The establishment was in the red before he could celebrate 20 years of owning and operating the restaurant, according to the Stubb's website. Stubblefield was forced to close its doors and move out of town. He told Texas Monthly, "Let's put it this way, I got run out of Lubbock 'cause I was broke, busted, and disgusted. I can't fight the IRS with barbecue and sauce." 

Luckily for barbecue lovers everywhere, this was not the end of Stubblefield's story.

The first bottles of Stubb's BBQ Sauce

The original Stubb's Legendary Bar-B-Q in Lubbock, Texas was forced to close, and then Stubblefield moved to Austin, Texas. That's where he started considering a new business, according to the Stubb's website.

His friends encouraged him to bottle up his delicious sauces so they could enjoy them at home once the restaurant was no longer open. Stubblefield began bottling his sauce so patrons could enjoy the delectable recipe. Intriguingly, he reutilized empty jam jars and Jack Daniels bottles to contain the sauce and used a jalapeño pepper as a cork (via Southern Living). In 1992, original and spicy versions of the sauce hit grocery store shelves. From there, Stubb's company continued to grow with more offerings of rubs and marinades.

Stubb's success after the initial restaurant closure shows that sometimes when one business fails or doesn't go as planned, other possibilities may lie ahead. You just never know if the next business will be more successful than the first.