It’s happened again. Another famous, historic Jacksonville eatery has been forced to close its doors. Fred Cotten Bar-B-Que first opened its do0rs in 1946 riding on the wake of the post-war boom and the city’s blossoming shipping industry. For nearly seven decades, the restaurant, with its famous mustard sauce and fork-tender chicken, has been serving the people of Jacksonville with affordable, award-winning BBQ. In 2000, after the death of founder Fred Cotten, Billy Cowart purchased the restaurant and faithfully honored the time-tested formula that had made this restaurant such a landmark. In fact, in its history, the restaurant has been host to a variety of hungry celebrities and politicians on the campaign trail – including this guy you may have heard of – Bill Clinton. Unfortunately, a combination of population and job shift, the increasing cost of doing business, and difficult financial times meant that Billy C’s Fred Cotten Bar-B-Que had to close its doors this Monday, September 15th, 2014.
And so, when I got word from an old friend (his chest pictured above) that Cotten’s was closing its doors for good, we planned one last trip – camera in hand. As always, the food was excellent and the atmosphere was just as we had remembered it. There is just something about BBQ, drenched in mustard sauce and simple white bread to sop up all the saucy, meaty goodness, that you just can’t beat. And, since this was our last visit and all, I felt it best to share some photos with you!
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One Last Trip – Saying Farewell to Fred Cotten BBQ