Dr. BBQ is no longer affiliated with NYC's Southern Hospitality. I'm not breaking any news here as this has been widely reported by other sites such as the ever informative Pigtrip. From all accounts the break was amicable and expected. But, it's a loss for the New York barbecue and restaurant community.
Dr. BBQ was brought into Southern Hospitality to turn it around. Before his arrival SH was known to serve some pretty mediocre Que. The good doctor arrived and really raised the bar. When the doctor was in the house, there were some good eats.
It seems it's just the nature of the restaurant business; at least where barbecue is concerned in New York. Matt Fisher was brought in to Wildwood to work his magic, Robbie Richter at Hill Country, Greg Barry at Ruby's Famous, I could go on forever. It seems to this layman that the owners bring in the expert pitmasters, learn what they can and let the restaurant establish a credible barbecue reputation and then throws them out on the street. But I don't know definitively if that's the case. Some of these departures may have been by mutual arrangement, but to me, it certainly seems like a trend.
Unfortunately, the Que immediately begins to suffer. Now I haven't been to Southern Hospitality since the Dr's departure, so I can't definitively state that it's the case here, but I'm willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that it will. Too often the restaurateur thinks that barbecue is just another style of food that can be mass produced. It's simply not the case. The only barbecue restaurants that thrive are the restaurants with a pitmaster and owner who share a passion for barbeque!
Go spend some time at RUB - talk to Andrew Fischel, or the aforementioned Matt Fisher or Scott Smith; go to Hill Country and shoot the breeze with Pete Daversa; or if you can find him, chat with Andrew Perry Lang at Daisy May's; or if you're uptown speak with John Stage at Dinosaur; like Dr. BBQ, these guys share the passion of the flames and you can taste it in their food.
I don't know where Doctor BBQ will turn up next, but I hope he's back in New York soon.