Whitley’s Bar-B-Que undergoing renovations
Published 10:43 am Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Jim Hart/contributing writer
Whitley’s Bar-B-Que in Murfreesboro, North Carolina, has temporarily closed its doors to allow for renovations.
Since originally opening in the 1960s, Whitley’s has not undergone any significant renovations with the exception of a one-time expansion. According to current managing owner Cassie James, there are many pieces of equipment that need to be changed out and other areas that she and her business partner, Colton James, also her husband, wanted to renovate.
Cassie elaborated further, “This restaurant has so much potential and is so loved by the whole community. Colton and I had taken over the business last summer and had sort of done a test run to see how it could be improved and what the community would like to see us offer. Over the past six months or so we have had a lot of feedback from the community, and are trying to meet the needs and desires of our customers. When we reopen, you will see an expanded menu with not only our famous barbecue and fried chicken and renowned buffet, but you will also see a focus on seafood and steaks.”
When asked about some of the improvements being made, Cassie explained the main improvements. The front entrance and dining room will be completely rebuilt with a more country theme. The front counter and equipment is completely rebuilt and redesigned and there will be room for live entertainment on special events and weekends. The kitchen has been remodeled and some new equipment installed. Additionally, the front room floor was completely sanded and urethaned and the room was painted.
Colton James, who is also a national recording country music artist, has plans to perform from time to time and also bring in other musicians for entertainment. To allow for this, the hours will be expanded on weekends so that not only can families come out for dinner, but they can hang around for some live entertainment and socialize as well. Cassie went on to say, “One of the main things that we keep hearing from our local customers is that there is nothing to do in the area after dinner. We plan on serving at least beer and wine on premises to allow for a casual social climate. Also, TVs will be installed to allow for people to come up and watch a game or race or other sporting event while eating and meeting with friends. We want our restaurant to be a social hall for the community, a place where friends meet and eat.”
One of Cassie’s largest concerns that she wants to get out to the community is that they are not closed. She added, “ When we closed our doors for this remodeling, it was not planned to do it at that particular time. Our plans were to do this sometime in March or April after Valentine’s Day. We had planned on having our huge Valentine’s Dinner, but some of this old equipment just would not keep going, and our large walk-in refrigeration unit just stopped. With the age of the unit, it would take time to repair or replace it and so we had to temporarily close. However, there is always a silver lining and an opportunity when a problem pops up. Our silver lining is that we found out how much our community loves us. We had so many people contact us to ask what they could do to help us reopen as soon as possible. They were coming from everywhere…volunteering their time, resources and even offering money to help. My family just cannot say thank you enough to our ‘Whitley’s family.’
“This also gave us the needed reason to just go ahead and do it now and not put it off anymore. We look forward to opening back up in a few weeks and we hope that we will not only see our old friends, but also see some new faces in the crowd.”
Stay tuned to The Tidewater News for an official reopening date.