Wednesday 08 Apr 2020

UPDATE: NCDOR Closes Wilber’s Barbecue

Speculation is swirling as a Goldsboro landmark apparently closes its doors.

Wilber’s Barbecue shut down operations this week, and North Carolina Department of Revenue signs now hang on the establishment’s door stating, “No Trespassing.”

There’s no word yet on whether the shutdown is permanent or temporary.

Wilber’s opened in 1962 and has been a staple for barbecue lovers from around the world.

UPDATE:  Friday morning, the North Carolina Department of Revenue confirmed to Goldsboro Daily News it took action on the business located at 4172 U.S. Highway 70 East in Goldsboro.

Due to the NC taxpayer secrecy law, the NCDOR is unable to provide details beyond what is on the posted sign: “Pursuant to NC G.S. 105-242(a)(2) the personal property here within has been seized for nonpayment of taxes.”

Under state law, the Department of Revenue has the power to seize a business for nonpayment of taxes as a last resort after all other voluntary and forced tax collection measures have failed.

The NCDOR sign posted on Wilber’s Barbecue





  1. Ashley says:

    Greetings all! After my family members reached out to let me know about this closing I happened upon this article and its comments. From 1998-2000 (maybe 2001) I worked there as a waitress. I was the FIRST and possibly only black waitress to wait tables. I was recommended by my highschool principal for the position. Wilber’s was an eye opener about life in general. I experienced racism from ALL races of people there and in truth it prepared me for life outside of Goldsboro, NC. More importantly I had some of the very best memories, coworkers who were like family and for the most part treated each other as such, customers ,food, and boy looking back I really made some great money especially being a highschool student! This restuarant for me will definitely be missed. I like many others probably thought that it would always be there because it always has. Hopefully this helps clear up some of the “myth” that only the black people worked in the back. I will ALWAYS stand by what I say when asked then how did I get my position to wait tables, I was referred and on my application I stated I wanted to wait tables as I imagine anyone no matter what race when applying could as well.

    • ???? says:

      Thank you Ashley for your post. It’s refreshing to hear from someone who actually knows/experienced the situation rather than from those who got their information through gossip. So happy that Wilber’s was a good experience for you and I hope you are doing well in life.

      • Slim says:

        Not to brag on there ???. 1 black since 1962 lol . after her what you seen in there since Ashley. I never seen 1 . not a lot to brag about all those years an you can put them on 1 hand. Lol. I had family that work there an they have reason to lie how it was back there. So you can call what you want to rumors here say what ever. Its true. I’m glad he gave you a chance Ashley !!!. After you they want any. That I seen

        • ???? says:

          Please reread your last post on this story (and I quote)…. ” had family that work there an they have reason to lie how it was back there”. See, the truth has a way of coming to light….
          Didn’t you also just admit in your comment on the other story line about Wilber’s that you’d not been there in 20 years? So how do you know what really went on there?

  2. Slim says:

    Well !!. Look like my girl Kathy explain my main point. Like I said earlier I knew somebody that work IN THE BACK til she rushed an retired. Due to what Kathy said .all true. Time when I did go 20 years ago . stood at the bar 45 min for 2 barbaque sandwiches. Every body got waited on all around me .so. He racist. Yes.

    • Lil Sheba says:

      I believe that I could make the statement “the sky is blue” and Slim, Mr. C & Kathy would turn it into something racial.
      Wilber Shirley is and always has been a very staunch Democrat & yet these folks call him “racist”. Since the Democratic Party claims to be the party of most African-Americans and usually contends that the Republican Party is racist… kind of makes you wonder, huh?
      That’s right, read the true history of the Republican Party and it’s fight to abolish slavery and give equal rights to blacks.

      • KIMBERLY says:

        I am absolutely amazed that SOMEONE around here has actually researched American History! Thank you! Thank you !! Thank you!! If only the rest of the Democrats would do the same. ( Facebook and CNN are not credible resources for American History.) The education system is responsible for teaching our children the FACTS and not the OPINION of the teacher.
        Fortunately,history cannot be erased. Removing flags and confederate statues and marching until your feet bleed will not change history. If you don’t like looking at something, look the other way. It’s comical how these historical pieces have been displayed for decades and then suddenly everyone is offended by every little thing and these pieces are torn down. Rap music is extremely offensive, so I change the channel instead of taking the day off from work to protest about it.
        People must educate themselves before claiming themselves to a political party or any organization. Removing a flag that did NOT promote racism is an example of political ignorance. Removing a memorial statue is absolutely disrespectful to the families (both black and white) who fought in the civil war. If you disagree, feel free to educate yourself before debating this post. Take a moment to visit your local VA and talk to the veterans there.
        Instead of marching in protest against racism and police violence, perhaps these marching communities should use their energy to police their own neighborhoods and focus on raising their children to NOT become criminals and human targets. The government provides minorities with EVERYTHING they need to EXCELL in life. It’s a shame that the majority of them waste those resources.
        Please people, educate yourselves with textbooks and such. Facebook, Instagram, Hollywood, and the opinions of your friends are not credible. If you don’t want to look or sound ignorant to THOSE who know, you’ll take my advice and read a book.

  3. Mo Pete says:

    Kathy is the racist. If the little ole would even think Wilbur is racist why in the hell would she continue to work for him for years? Kathy isn’t the brightest of people folks sorry.

    • Lil ole lady says:

      Anyone can wait on tables or collect money but it takes talented and trained individuals to prepare excellent food! He put his most talented people to the task of making good food!

  4. JR says:

    It may have been good back in the day. But I thought it was the worst BBQ I tried to eat.

  5. Dave Jay says:

    I heard he sold it to some YANKEES from Florida and they ran it into the ground when he refused to unionize! The new owners were insisting on adding bagels and lox to the breakfast menu as well as some new BBQ items. If they had just unionized the kitchen help then they would have made it.

  6. Carter says:

    Bet he rubbed someone the wrong way!

  7. kialboots says:

    About time.. Worst BBQ I ever had..

  8. Joey says:

    It’s just as well, worst BBQ around and when you sit at your table and large cockroaches crawl out from under your table and come see what you are eating it is time to walk out and never return.

  9. Kathy says:

    GOOD! The prices got ridiculous, and he’s racist. Bet he put his trust in his own children, and they screwed up the books.

    • Lil ole lady says:

      Gosh, there are always people of different races in there enjoying their meal! His barbecue master was an AfricanAmerica who loved his job and passed it down to his son! His best cooks in his kitchen are lovely black women who call everyone sweetie and darlin’! If he was racist why would they stay! I think We see who is the racist here!

      • Kathy says:

        Like I said Lil Ole Lady, he was racist! Wilber stated, YEARS AGO, that he WOULD NEVER have a Black person waite tables! HAVE YOU EVER SEEN ONE! And CERTAINLY NOT AT THE CASH REGISTER! ALWAYS IN THE BACK!

        • Lil Sheba says:

          Kathy…did you actually hear Mr. Shirley make those statements yourself? I’m guessing “Not”. I’m guessing that it came from “a friend of a friend of a friend”, right? Mama always said “Don’t spread with your mouth what your eyes didn’t see”. Gossip, lies & rumors have brought down many good people. I think you owe Mr. Shirley an apology unless you actually heard him say those words.

        • ???? says:

          Rumors are carried by haters, spread by fools and accepted by idiots.

    • D says:

      I can assure you that he didn’t leave his restaurant in the hands of his children after his beautiful wife passed away. His family wanted nothing to do with him and they wiped their hands clean of him and that place. That’s the reason the place went under… because his children didn’t take over. Not the other way around.

  10. I read on one website that the business had been sold. Is that true?

  11. Rumorhasit says:

    Tax fraud? Along with the Kinstonian?


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  1. Wilber’s has Closed! – John Tanner's Barbecue Blog

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