Historic Building To Be Torn Down For Commercial Building Expansion

In 1968, the In & Out Grill was opened in the Pecan Grove section of Smithfield in a building that formerly housed Circle Drive In. Jack and Ava Gardner opened the In & Out, offering curb service, a paved parking lot and spaces for 100 cars. In a 1968 Smithfield Herald newspaper article, Jack Gardner said, “We cater to family groups, people of all ages and contrary to what some might have heard, The In & Out Grill does not sell beer.” 

Ava Gardner said she decided on the “originality of the name because we have inside service as well as outside service – and the front door swings both ways.” 

The building, on N. Brightleaf Boulevard at Waddell Street, has had several owners over the years. Most recently it has been occupied by Enterprise Rent A Car. The building owner, Mohamed & Sons, Inc., also owns the adjacent commercial strip center.

The town council recently approved a request by the building owner to raze the Enterprise Rent A Car building – the former In & Out Grill – to make way for a new building for the rental car company, expand parking and add a vehicle wash area. Fencing and landscaping will be placed along the rear property line adjoining a residential area.

Councilman David Stevens said there was a lot of history in the building. The board approved the demolition and expansion in a 5-to-0 vote.


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