In the way-too-short period of time that Bebe's BBQ was open for business in the Italian Market, it made appearances on The Food Network, Travel Channel, Food & Wine, and even won a Best of Philly Award from Philadelphia Magazine. In the saddest news of the day, proprietor Mark Coates has left the city and returned to his roots in the deep south.
"I was gone from my family for way too long, and my grandmother, Bebe, is getting up in years," Coates told Eater. "It was time to go home and spend time with these people, and now is good a time as any."
After shuttering Bebe's, Coates bounced around with his legendary barbecue recipes throughout the city, landing at Fergie's, The Wishing Well, and running The Smoke Truck for just one season. In addition to being a meat expert, Coates and his contractors license did extensive work building out Jason Cichonski's Ela and the just-opened Redwood on South Street.
Philly lost one of its most charismatic characters and talented cooks today. Hopefully big Mark Coates will find his way back up here sooner than later, but until then, we'll just have to suffer with Fette Sau, Percy Street BBQ, and Bubba's Texas BBQ.