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Breaking: Coop’s West Texas BBQ Closing After 13 Years 

One of the county's original Texas barbecue joints shuts its doors this weekend in Lemon Grove
Courtesy of Coop's BBQ

It’s a dark day in San Diego, and not just because of the rain. Coop’s West Texas BBQ, one of the county’s original Texas barbecue joints, is closing shop after 13 years. 

Coop’s Instagram page announced the news earlier today, days after being mentioned in a praiseworthy feature by barbecue expert Daniel Vaughn in Texas Monthly.

When Brad Cooper, a.k.a. Mr. Coop, opened Coop’s in Lemon Grove in 2010, he mixed Texas’ trademark low-and-slow style with his take on soul food, offering classics like beef brisket and pork ribs alongside Southwest jerk chicken, candied yams, and collard greens. Word of mouth quickly spread—the low-key joint on the south side of Lemon Grove was the place to be. 

“A lot of our business was coming from outside of Lemon Grove,” says Cooper. “We consider ourselves a barbecue destination.”

Even when the pandemic wreaked havoc on the hospitality industry, Coop said they were able to stay afloat. But, he says over the past two years, rising inflation and the cost of gas made business untenable. “When gas went up, the cost of food went up, and we saw a drastic decline in business,” he says. “I’m just like, ‘You know what? It’s time to do something different.’”

Coop says it’s not the end—he plans to continue the catering side of Coop’s, as well as offering pop-ups around town to make sure people can get their Coop’s fix. He hopes to partner with local breweries who don’t have kitchens, and encourages anyone interested to contact him. He’s optimistic about the future.

Courtesy of Coop’s West Texas BBQ

“I think I’ve carried myself well enough in this community and represented San Diego well enough that my name will carry,” he says. “Once people know what we’re doing, people will be like ‘Oh man, Coop! Let’s go get it!” 

Coop’s West Texas BBQ’s last day in business is Sunday, March 17 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 2625 Lemon Grove Avenue. 

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By Beth Demmon

Beth Demmon is an award-winning writer and podcaster whose work regularly appears in national outlets and San Diego Magazine. Her first book, The Beer Lover's Guide to Cider, is now available. Find out more on

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