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Posted: Wednesday, December 19th 2012 at 5:11pm

Gainesville restaurant owner to compete on TV show BBQ Pitmasters

By Bill Johnson Access Insider
EMAIL STORY CONTACT EDITOR PRINT
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GAINESVILLE – One of Gainesville’s newest restaurant owners, Bear Sloan, owner of Lazy Bear BBQ on McEver Road, has been selected to compete for $2,000 this weekend on the television program BBQ Pitmasters.

The program airs Sunday at 9 p.m. on Destination America Channel.

Sloan has been a competition cook for the last eight years but he had dreamed of owning his own restaurant. That dream came true in March when he purchased Lazy Bear BBQ on McEver Road across from Free Chapel Worship Center.

While he’s focused on making the restaurant a success, he still has the competitive spirit.

He and his trademark red locomotive smoker have competed in a number of local contests and he has won dozens of awards.

“I’m most proud of winning the 'Grand Champion of the Backyard' award at Brenau in 2011,” Sloan said.

A friend recommended that Sloan try to win a spot on BBQ Pitmasters.

So he sent in an entry form and a short video clip and was shocked to find out that he had been chosen from more than 1,000 entrants. In fact, when BBQ Pitmasters Coordinator Jesse Rosales called to give him the good news, he thought it was a prank and almost hung up on him.

“I told him I was busy and asked if he could call me later,” Sloan recalled. “Instead, he asked for my email address and sent me another form to fill out.”

That, he said, is when he found out his selection was on the up and up.

His competition on Saturday’s program will be with two other Georgia teams, Holy Smokes of Dublin and Georgia Bob's of Macon.

The program was filmed during the summer at the Atlanta BBQ Festival so Sloan and the other competitors know the outcome, but they have been sworn to secrecy.

Sloan said he was thrilled just to have been chosen.

“It’s awesome,” he said. “It’s off the hook. I mean, no matter what the outcome of the TV show, I’m still a winner. The other two are still winners because we beat 1,000 other people to get on the show.”

Associated Categories: Homepage, Business News, Local/State News

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