You can see the smoke coming out of the chimney, smell it on the east side of Montgomery Highway, but it's not from the remnants of a house fire. Instead, you can call it the smell that may be the beginning of downtown success.
It's new restaurant, Hook's Barbecue, next to the Houston County Administration Building.
Co-owner Tim Shirley says, "Serving on the Chamber Board, I always wanted to promote downtown Dothan and the historical district, and this location is located in the historical district."
This is the exact attitude that city and county officials say they want business owners to have when considering moving downtown.
More business means more economic growth, and more economic growth means more opportunity for the city to do something with the eyesores that plague the area.
Cynthia Green, Dothan’s Public Relations Officer, says, "Many departments in the city of Dothan are working together to get some of our dilapidated buildings down, so we can get that cleared up."
Houston County Commission Chairman Mark Culver agrees.
"We're looking at several ideas for parking; there are some locations that we'd like to look at for potential parking."
But the chain restaurant isn't new. In fact, there are three other locations in Opp, Andalusia, and Troy. With a 65 seat capacity, owners Phil Tew and Tim Shirley hope it fills up quickly
Co-owner Phil Tew says, "It's just good southern style, hometown B-B-Q. It's just an excellent project."
Tew and Shirley are hoping people in the area think so too. The restaurant opens this Wednesday at 10:30 for lunch and will close at 9 o' clock at night.
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