Popular Restaurant Closing For Four Months

Smithfield’s Chicken and Barbecue will operate in a facility similar to this one when the business is rebuilt over the next four months. The old building is in the process of being demolished.

Old restaurant will come down, be rebuilt

One of Dunn’s best known and most popular restaurants is temporarily closed as officials tear down the old building at the site and prepare for a new, modern building.

The pieces of Smithfield’s Chicken ’N Bar-B-Q on West Cumberland Street were sold one at a time at an auction Tuesday morning. Some of the items included cooking pans, scales, coffee pot buckets and other accessories.

The Wester Auction & Realty out of Four Oaks conducted the auction.

The company said on its website they were instructed to sell everything in the building with the exception of food and paper products.

Local auctioneer Rick Lashmit sells items at the Smithfield’s Chicken and Barbecue restaurant Tuesday. An auction of inside items from the store was held before the building is torn down this week. A new building will be constructed.

A crowd of potential buyers was in the store and bidders also were taking part in the auction online.

Much of the interior of the building has already been taken apart, with many booths already in several pieces.

Auctioneers sold equipment and other items which have helped the business serve the Dunn community for more than 30 years. Smithfield officials said demolition is set to start soon.

That will clear the way for what Smithfield President Lew Starling calls a whole new prototype building which will be state-of-the-art for the industry. The same building is in use at other Smithfield locations, including in Warsaw and in Wilmington. According to the company website, it is hoped all the restaurants in the chain will eventually use the new prototype buildings.

Mr. Starling said the company wants to honor local citizens who have supported them for many years.

“Dunn has been a wonderful place to do business and we felt like the people of Dunn and Harnett County deserve a new, modern restaurant,” Mr. Starling said. “Citizens will enjoy this when it is open.”

John Martin displays items that were sold Tuesday as part of an auction of items from Dunn’s Smithfield’s Chicken and Barbecue restaurant. The old building is being destroyed and a few facility is being constructed at the site. The new restaurant will be open in approximately four weeks if there are no construction delays.

Dunn is the only Harnett County location for Smithfield’s. The company has a store in Newton Grove as well as in Smithfield and in the Cleveland community.

Mr. Starling said the entire process of demolishing the old building and replacing it with the new building will take approximately 120 days, or four months.

According to the Wester website, demolition of the building will begin Monday morning.

Smithfield’s operates 36 restaurants throughout North Carolina.

The company is named for the Town of Smithfield because the first store was located there, in a downtown building. In addition to chicken and barbecue the chain is known for a variety of side items including hushpuppies, cole slaw, baked beans, Brunswick stew and other items.

-Dunn Daily Record