Local News

Orange County Residents Help Rebuild Restaurant Gutted By Fire

Posted January 21, 2002

— Two weeks ago, a fire gutted one of the most popular barbecue restaurants in the Triangle. Perseverance and a lot of help from friends should have the pork back on the table at Allen and Son Barbeque sooner than expected.

Keith Allen is working to rebuild the barbecue restaurant that has been his life for 32 years.

"It wasn't a question of whether or not we're going to. It's a question of how long it's going to take to do it," he said.

Allen's popular restaurant was heavily damaged when fire swept through it on Jan. 10. He has given time and many meals to the community, and after the fire, it was payback time.

"The next morning it was clean-up time and everybody jumped in. Friends came from all over. It's just like the old-timey way," said Jack Maultsby, the building's owner.

The Allens and their friends have already done a lot of work. Just ten days after the fire, the restaurant's dining room has been repainted.

However, there is still a lot of work to do. The big fire pit where Allen slowly cooks pork shoulders over hickory chips is being rebuilt.

For awhile, Allen will serve as a carpenter rather than the operator of a restaurant featured in

Bon Appetit

.

With the help of friends, the smell of hickory smoke will soon replace the smell of disaster.

"Fortunately enough, we've still got a lot of southern traditions here. Everybody's been overwhelming with their willingness to help," Allen said.

An out-of-control grease fire is to blame for the damage. Allen says he hopes to open the restaurant in a matter of weeks rather than the months it might have taken without the help of his friends.

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