LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - On Saturday, September 14 at the World Series of Barbecue in Kansas City, Lubbock-native C.B. Stubblefield was inducted into the Barbecue Hall of Fame.
Christopher B. Stubblefield, or “Stubb” as he became known, is famous around the country for his barbecue sauce, originating from the restaurant he used to operate in Lubbock in the 1960′s.
Stubb was born in Navasota, Texas in 1931, and he started his cooking career as a veteran during the Korean war, serving as a mess sergeant in the last all-black regiment. Friends of Stubb say his mess hall was the first true incarnation of Stubb’s Bar-B-Q. He left military service with two purple hearts, and moved to Lubbock where he opened a restaurant.
In 1968, Stubb’s Bar-B-Q opened as a building that could reliably fit 75 patrons, but their website says they would squeeze in when the live music started to play.
Stubb’s restaurant was a welcome sight for fans of food and blues music. Featuring appearances from legendary musicians like Johnny Cash, B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Muddy Waters.
After 17 years, Stubb was forced to close his doors in 1985. One of Stubb’s musician friends, Willie Nelson, tried to convince him to move his business to Austin. In March of that year, Stubb told Texas Monthly: “I got run out of Lubbock ‘cause I was broke, busted, and disgusted. I can’t fight the IRS with barbecue and sauce.”
Stubb reopened Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q off I-35 in Austin, Texas in 1986.
1991, Lubbock native musician Joe Ely appeared on Late Night with Dave Letterman and brought a bottle of Stubb’s Bar-B-Q Sauce. Stubb was invited and cooked for the entire audience and crew, revealing the secret behind his sauce: “Love & Happiness.”
Stubb’s sauce became famous after that, selling in grocery stores across the country.
Stubblefield died of heart failure on May 27, 1995.
A year after his death, Stubb’s restaurant reopened in a historic 19th century building at 801 Red River in Austin as a restaurant and live music venue. It has hosted a range of world famous musicians from James Brown to Metallica to Snoop Dogg. In 2009, Stubb was inducted into the Austin Music Memorial.
In May of 2019, it was announced that Stubb would be memorialized in the BBQ Hall of Fame, during the World Series of Barbecue at the Kansas Speedway, but Stubb’s biggest legacy remains the renowned musicians he gave a stage to, and the customers who continue to leave restaurants and grocery stores with bottles of love and happiness.
While there is no longer a Lubbock location, Stubb’s Bar-B-Q remains open and serving on Red River Street in Austin.