BBQ business owner says he has recipe for success despite pandemic

Updated: May. 19, 2020 at 10:01 AM EDT
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - As COVID-19 causes north country restaurants to close, a Watertown man thinks he has the recipe for success.

There will be a new pit master in Watertown's Public Square.

Randy Lockwood is bringing his business, Holy Smokes Barbecue, downtown.

"We've always wanted to be part of the historic Public Square," he said.

The business will be moving into what's known as the Commerce Building at the corner of Public Square and Franklin Street.

Last week, owners of the Cornerstone Eatery announced their business wouldn't reopen after the pandemic shutdown.

Lockwood says there's a risk to opening a business now, but it's not slowing him down.

"The passion and drive is there," he said.

Lockwood says he'll also be rolling out a food trailer.

“We’re actually going to be nicknaming this the flying pig,” he said.

And it will allow him to serve Jefferson County even with current restrictions.

"Not handcuffed to an actual seating chart, or the amount of seats, or how much distance you need between booths," he said.

Lockwood says the old Cornerstone Eatery location gives him a full-sized kitchen to play with, meaning more food made from scratch."

"It's going to allow us to basically scratch make everything," he said.

Holy Smokes Barbecue used to be in the Great American supermarket, also owned by Lockwood.

The grocery store shuttered its doors late last year.

"We had to do a lot more with pre-made stuff," he said.

His daughter, Brianna, worked at the supermarket and is now training to be a pit master for Holy Smokes Barbecue.

"I've always stuck to my family. My values are there, I know I'm going to be treated right," she said.

Lockwood says he hopes to open the restaurant and food trailer on June 15th.

The restaurant will be takeout and delivery only until the state allows diners to eat inside.

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