‘We wanted to find something special’ 

By on July 26, 2023

The iconic Kill Devil Grill has new owners

(credit: Mark Jurkowitz)

The new owners of the iconic Kill Devil Grill say they are not going to alter the restaurant’s impressive formula for success.

“We wanted to find something special,” said Brett Babick, part of the new ownership team that includes principal owners Dee and Sara Northcutt. “In all my years [in the restaurant business], I’ve never seen it come together the way it comes together here.”

Noting that people sometimes wonder if new owners will change a business, he offered this response: “Why would we change anything? We didn’t buy it to change, we bought it because it is awesome.”

On July 10, original owners Bill and Liz Tucker sold the two-decades-old Kill Devil Hills restaurant to the new group, with the property going for $2 million, according to Dare County records. But the business, Babick noted, “is priceless.”

Babick, who has amassed more than three decades of experience in the restaurant industry, recently moved to the Outer Banks and will be overseeing Kill Devil Grill operations. The Tennessee-based Dee Northcutt is an investor and owner in a number of industries, including real estate and restaurants.

According to Babick, the process that led to the purchase of The Kill Devil Grill started at the beginning of this year. The goal, he said, was to find a restaurant on the East Coast, adding that “we knew we wanted to get to the beach somewhere.”

He also explained that once the new owners took a look at The Kill Devil Grill, they were confident they had found the right spot. “What stood out here to us, even beyond the great food,” Babick explained, was “the loyalty” expressed by the customers they talked to — both locals and visitors.

“We feel blessed and humbled to be part of it,” he concluded. “Come see us, and we look forward to doing more things and special things in the off-season.”



  • Keep it Local

    These carpet-baggers keep coming in droves, our slice of heaven is no more 🙁

    Wednesday, Jul 26 @ 5:21 pm
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    So just to make sure I understand, you’re unhappy that some people have bought the restaurant and plan to keep it running the way it has been?

    Wednesday, Jul 26 @ 6:25 pm
  • Brenda Nunnally

    My husband and l have been going to the Grill for a very long time and was glad to hear you weren’t going to change the popular selections on the menu! We look forward to continuing to enjoy the amazing food in what is now your successful Restaurant 😊

    Wednesday, Jul 26 @ 9:48 pm
  • lippy

    Do not change a thing…the food is the star of the show at Kill Devil Grill.

    Thursday, Jul 27 @ 7:27 am
  • Hrtbrk

    Thanks for highlighting the obvious Mark 🙂

    Thursday, Jul 27 @ 7:29 am
  • Carl Pureza

    My wife and I have been going to the Kill Devil Grill for many years we live in Elizabeth City and visit there several times a year.Bill and Liz have always been there working and I’m sure they are looking forward to enjoying themselves after all the hard work over the years hopefully the new owners will continue with the great food and service.we will still continue to visit the Grill as I’m sure everyone else will so time will tell congratulations to Bill and Liz enjoy.

    Thursday, Jul 27 @ 8:00 am
  • Mike Raphone

    Mark…. What he is referring to is the business is now no longer locally owned. It is now owned by “come heres” who clearly WILL change something about it. They can’t help themselves.

    Let’s hope I am wrong, and have to eat crow for this in the future.

    Thursday, Jul 27 @ 8:07 am
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    Understood Mike and I understand the instinct. But implicit in that sentiment is the idea that founder/owners should never be able to both retire and still make sure their business gets to continue.

    Thursday, Jul 27 @ 8:26 am
  • Zach Rugar

    Geez, someone always has to whine and complain on all of these comments sections. Grow up people, times change!

    Thursday, Jul 27 @ 8:15 am
  • Jay

    “Why would we change anything? We didn’t buy it to change, we bought it because it is awesome.” That is a bold statement. Usually made by the new owners hoping their experienced staff do not jump ship.

    Thursday, Jul 27 @ 9:28 am
  • Randy Williams

    We LOVE this place!! We go there often. To the new owners…PLEASE don’t change anything! It’s a great place, great food and service, and we eat there often!! Glad to hear your going to keep it that way!!!! THANK YOU!!

    Thursday, Jul 27 @ 1:42 pm
  • John keller

    In reply to keep it local, the previous owners
    weren’t exactly locals either. At least not when they started out.

    Thursday, Jul 27 @ 9:32 pm
  • Ken

    The Red Drum is the perfect example of what not to do when taking over a successful restaurant.

    Friday, Jul 28 @ 8:35 am
  • Bev

    I am so sad. KDG rocks! The food is outstanding and the service is fantastic! My friends and I will miss them greatly. Goodbye to one of the OBX’s finest.

    Friday, Jul 28 @ 10:28 am
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    Bev, the owners are gone, but the restaurant will keep on truckin’

    Friday, Jul 28 @ 12:12 pm
  • KHer

    Some trivia! Before it was KDG it started as a second location of Millie’s Diner. The original Millie’s is till open in downtown Richmond, VA. One of their signature items is the “Devil’s Mess”.

    Good luck to the new owners.

    Friday, Jul 28 @ 10:56 am
  • Give 'em a chance!

    Please give these new owners a chance before you start to destroy a wonderful restaurant’s reputation. Remember, the food is fantastic and the employees that work here are part of that wonderful experience. Whether it be the servers, the people preparing that food or even washing your dishes or taking you to your seats, all of this is physical labor that should be appreciated and acknowledged. I am sure the former owners have put in their time and energy to make this place be a success. Hope they have a great future ahead, but I guarantee that they will always care about what they left behind and more importantly who helped them along the way. For those who disagree, more seats for me and my friends.

    Sunday, Jul 30 @ 7:07 am
  • ZOBX

    Yes, I agree with sad move made by Red Drum’s new owner/menu. The beach has lost a great watering hole with consistently good food.

    Monday, Jul 31 @ 2:33 pm