Had a conversation with the pitmaster at the Durham Q Shack and I thought I I'd pass along some interesting tidbits. First, the Q Shack location at Southpoint mall is no longer (you may have noticed this already). That spot along with the former Rice Bowl next door will be a Cheesecake Factory in the near future.
The two partners of Q Shack have decided to go their separate ways. The original Q Shack in Durham was taken by the first partner and the one in Raleigh was taken by the other. It's been 3-4 months since the split. I think the quality of the Q Shack had gone down for a while but I'm happy to report that I think it is back up to its original levels after the split-- for the Durham location at least, can't speak to the Raeigh location. The meat is once again consistently moist and juicy.
They do smoke their meats with wood. They use gas to get the wood going but other than that it's cooked with wood. Durham does not have any ordinance against wood smoke being released into the air. Which makes it all the more perplexing why Allen & Sons and Q Shack are the only joints in the area using wood. I guess relative cost and labor requirements are at issue.