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Justin and Jonathan Fox, the identical twins who run Fox Bros. BBQ and Big Tex, were born within three minutes of each other in San Antonio on March 2—Texas Independence Day. As teenagers, both worked their first jobs at Six Flags Over Texas, where Justin made funnel cakes and Jonathan worked at a lemonade stand. When they moved to Georgia, they missed fair food but longed more for the beef barbecue of their home state. In 2001 the brothers began hosting annual blowout barbecue parties at their house, and in 2003, encouraged by their friends’ praise (and the lack of decent ’cue in Atlanta at the time), they began catering and approached Smith’s Olde Bar in Midtown about selling barbecue on Wednesday nights. Their smoky brisket, ribs, and pulled pork wowed concertgoers, and their one-night-a-week gig expanded to weekends as well. In 2007 the owners of Smith’s helped the Fox boys open their own barbecue joint, and the crowds have never let up.
Ten years ago, brothers Sean and Gilbert Yeremyan ignored the snakebitten, forever-rotating restaurant spaces around them to open Gilbert's Cafe near the busy corner of 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue in Midtown.