We cooked and laughed made people happy’: Rock Hill BBQ icon Pete Wheeles dies at 99

Rock Hill BBQ icon Pete Wheeles signing off from making delicious bbq.

in Rock Hill News and Events

“We cooked and laughed, made people happy and fed them,” Wheeles told The Herald in 2018 when the barbecue tradition closed. “Sounds like a recipe. That’s a recipe for what we used to call community.”

98-year-old Pete Wheeles is closing Pete’s BBQ after 55 years

Wheeles was 99 when he passed on Friday, according to Greene Funeral Home.

Pete’s BBQ operated on holiday weekends through 2018, when Wheeles decided to finally close the business that attracted people from around the South on Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day, and sometimes other holidays.

The barbecue tradition operated from 1963 to 2018. Wheeles retired at age 98 in 2018.

“We cooked and laughed, made people happy and fed them,” Wheeles told The Herald in 2018 when the barbecue tradition closed. “Sounds like a recipe. That’s a recipe for what we used to call community.”

Wheeles was also legendary for his gracious manner and knowing countless customers by name.

Wheeles had built smokehouses and pits on his India Hook Road property just south of the Catawba River. Wheeles and his crews would cook as much as seven or eight tons of pork for a busy holiday weekend. Yet they never sold on the Sunday of any holiday weekend. It was always Friday, Saturday and Monday.