The Durham News Service has confirmed in an interview with Wilma Dillard that Friday is the last day of business for Dillard's BBQ. When asked why, now, after decades of success, the restaurant was closing, she offered only two words, "the economy."
Ms. Dillard, a former school teacher, took over managing the restaurant in 1997 after her father's passing. Samuel Dillard operated the restaurant until that time.
The family plans to restructure, reorganize and watch the economy.
Dillard is a well-known to be a woman of strong faith and appreciation, two traits that shine through even now as she faces a very challenging turn of events. "We just want people to know how much we appreciate them - their years and years of support. We could not have made this far without their good will," she said. "We provided a service for them and they provided us the opportunity serve them and to be a blessing. We made friends. This business has always been about people," she added.
The restaurant is Durham's second oldest BBQ operation bested only Bullock's, which began operations in 1952.