Fans of Richmond’s popular Black Star Pirate BBQ were surprised at the sudden announcement that Black Star Pirate BBQ would close at the end of November. The restaurant became a favorite of many who discovered the restaurant — and its brisket and ribs — housed in its unique location at the Point San Pablo Harbor during the pandemic. And while most restaurant closures can be a sad occasion for both the owner and customers, chef Tony Carracci hopes to send off his restaurant in style: with a New Orleans-style jazz funeral on its last day, November 27. “I just thought it was appropriate; it’s a funeral and a party all at the same time,” Carracci says. “I want to get everybody involved and just make it a really special day.”
Starting at noon, Danny Montana & the Bar Association will play for customers at the restaurant, but at 2 p.m., Al Lazard & the World Street Players will lead the second line as they play and walk attendees down the jetty, Carracci shares. When everyone returns to the restaurant, Lazard will play for a bit longer before the band Iko Ya Ya takes over as participants continue on with a “New Orleans-style party” — and Carracci encourages everyone that day to wear black, in keeping with the funeral theme. “The 27th is going to be something — a party of parties,” he says.
Carracci and his partner, Miss Suzie (nee Suzie Vasco), ran the restaurant at 1900 Stenmark Drive in Richmond for two years; before landing at the harbor space, the restaurant existed as a barbecue food truck. It’s been written up as “otherworldly” by SFGATE, sending a flock of new customers to the restaurant to eat barbecue in a relatively less-traveled part of the Bay Area. Carracci says his two-year lease came up at the Richmond spot in September, and he couldn’t afford the increase in rent so he decided to end things at the space. “We’re sad,” Carracci says. “We put our heart and soul into it, it was our baby. It’s been amazing the amount of love and support that we have been getting since people have found out that we have to close.”
November 27 will be the restaurant’s final day, but it is also the last chance to eat Black Star’s barbecue — at least for a little bit. Although he has plans to do barbecue pop-ups at his other restaurant, Baltic Kiss, and elsewhere soon enough, Carracci plans to sell food that day at the restaurant until he sells out, which he predicts will happen pretty quickly. “I want to go out with a bang,” Carracci says. “You know, death is just a new beginning. So this one’s gonna die here, and then we’re gonna reopen someplace as magical, and as cool, and as awesome as ever.”
Black Star Pirate BBQ (1900 Stenmark Dr, Richmond) serves its last ribs, brisket, and tri-tip starting at 11 a.m. on Sunday, November 27, with musical performances starting at noon.