Landmark restaurant closes in Knightdale

Knightdale Seafood & BBQ, an eastern Wake County landmark, has closed after more than a quarter century. According to a sign on the restaurant’s door thanking customers, employees and friends for their success, owners Larry and Phyllis Addleton have decided to retire.

The husband-and-wife team opened their restaurant in 1988 in a circa 1930 building at the crossroads of NC Highway 64 and Smithfield Road. Their reputation for Calabash seafood, Eastern NC style barbecue and friendly service grew, and in 2001, the Addletons packed up their country store bric-a-brac and stock car racing mementos (Larry Addleton is a fan) and moved them to a new, larger location. The roomier digs enabled the couple to add Larry’s Oyster Bar in a room attached to the main restaurant, where the prices for raw and steamed oysters were among the best in the Triangle.

Less well-known but popular for several years among fans of game were special Tuesday night dinners where the feature might be anything from pheasant to bear.

The closing of Knightdale Seafood & BBQ is a loss not just for locals, but for any fan of the sort of old-fashioned Southern restaurant that is becoming rarer with each passing year. There’s no denying that the Addletons have earned their retirement, though, so let’s raise a glass - of sweet tea, naturally - to the memories.

Greg Cox, the N&O’s restaurant critic, also reports restaurant news. He can be reached at Tune in at 11 a.m. Saturdays for Greg’s radio show on WPTF.