“We’ll have barbecued brisket — which is just barbecued beef — pulled pork sandwiches, barbecued chicken, and we’re not going to start with barbecued ribs but we are going to add those in the next month or so. Just a basic menu, and sides like a baked potato or french fries, onion rings, salad and baked beans,” Swick said.
Customers will come in and place their order at the counter, then step down to the other end with their tray and wait for their food. Food will not be served with barbecue sauce already on it, but at their table customers will find a variety of sauces to add as much or as little of whatever kind they like. The drive-through will also be open, but Swick reminds customers this isn’t traditional fast food.
“A lot of these places have a meat slicer that helps things move fast. Ours will not. Ours will be hand-sliced as you order it,” Swick said.
This isn’t his first foray into the restaurant business. He briefly had a restaurant in Sciotoville called Dee’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers in the late-1970s.
He is known today, however, for D.W. Swick Funeral Homes in New Boston and South Webster.
He explained that he opened his original restaurant in Sciotoville because he wanted to go to mortuary school.
“I was working in the funeral business at that time and I had a family, and to become a funeral director I had to go away to college but it was hard to quit my job and go to college. So I thought if I could open a restaurant and get someone to manage it then I could get income off that while I went to school,” he said.
After only a year, Swick finished school, closed his restaurant and moved to Texas. He returned again in 1995 and opened his funeral home, but his restaurant dreams never faded.
“They had such great barbecue places out there (in Texas). I mean that’s all people know out there. Since we’ve been back we’ve always said we think something like that would do great around here,” he said.
This year, after many years of talking it over with his wife, he toured the vacant Arby‘s building, which opened near the New Boston Walmart shopping center in 1990s. The building was remodeled just three years ago, before it moved last year to its new location near the new Walmart on U.S. 52. But the original building was still in excellent condition, Swick found.
“It had a lot of stuff. That was kind of the tipping point, because it was so well already stocked we would have to get such a few things,” he said.
They will need to add a smoker, which is being custom-made in Missouri.
“In the past few years as I’ve been kind of thinking about doing something, I’ve felt New Boston was the place I would want to do it because it’s centrally located. It’s a little inconvenient to pick up lunch business from Portsmouth, but I think for evening meals it’s centrally located to the whole area,” Swick said.
RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 235, or email@example.com.