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Bludso’s BBQ in Compton Closes Permanently After Extended Hiatus

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But there are plans for an even bigger comeback

The order window at Bludso’s in Compton
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Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

A sad update today on the future of beloved Bludso’s BBQ in Compton. Per the LA Times, the long-running undisputed champ of Los Angeles’ barbecue scene is down for the count, following an extended hiatus that took the walk-up spot offline for several months.

What was initially billed as a six-week overhaul ballooned into several months, with no signs of life lately at the Long Beach Boulevard address. An email in to the team as recently as October noted that delays had taken the place off schedule, but now the Times is reporting that the original location is done for good after owner Kevin Bludso failed to come to an amicable agreement with the building’s owner.

That’s certainly a loss for Compton, but does not represent the end of the road for Bludso’s and Compton as a whole. Per the report, Kevin Bludso himself is working with the mayor of the city of Compton to find a workable new location somewhere in the area, ideally with more space to move around and, yes, expand. In the meantime, the Bludso's team has kept busy checking in on their Melbourne, Australia outlet, while the patriarch has been recouping from a health scare back in Corsicana, Texas.

Bludso’s bar area with stools.
Bludso’s on La Brea

Expect to see Kevin Bludso at the La Brea location in the coming months as things continue to fall into place, with a possible re-emergence in Compton by the end of 2017. There are also plans for everything from a Downtown LA and Orange County location, respectively, and a cookbook and bacon line under the Bludso’s banner.

But for now, if you’re really after that authentic Bludso’s signature smoked meat, your options just officially decreased by one. Luckily there’s an increasing number of great barbecue options in Los Angeles overall, including one killer new setup doing weekend street smokes near Koreatown.