Florence barbecue restaurant closed after driver crashes, abandons car inside

The crash caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage.

Posted: Jun 17, 2019 3:42 PM

Just hours after winning a major award for its meat, Smokin' on the Boulevard BBQ’s good times ended with a crash.

Someone crashed a car into the restaurant’s building early Saturday. Jeff Carter, Smokin' on the Boulevard pit master, said he woke about 3 a.m. Saturday to the sound of Florence Police Department officers knocking on his door.

"Got (the Best Beef award) Friday and had a big honor and celebrated over that, then we wake up to this Saturday morning," said Carter. "I can't even tell you what it was like to even happen like that and do as much damage as it did. It looks like a bomb went off inside of it.”

The police report said the person driving left their car and took off on foot. It also said there were open containers of alcohol in the vehicle.

"He walked away but the guy who called it in he pretty much got an ID on him and talked to him. He didn't get his name but he did see him and know who it was,” Carter said of the witness who saw the suspect.

The restaurant, which suffered damage to both the building and some equipment, will be closed at least a week.

The crash damaged a one of a kind large smoker, with multiple rotating levels and other equipment.

"It will just take some time to get everything back and adjusted and making sure everything is working right," said Carter.

Carter said the crash caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage. He's thankful he wasn't in the building when it happened.

"Just always be thankful for what we do have and count our blessings every day," said Carter.

Carter and his co-owner, Karen Hill, are hopeful to have the place up and running by the Fourth of July weekend.

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