Smo-King Pit to reopen mid-January after closing for construction

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — It took longer than expected, but a local barbeque joint’s expansion is almost done.

Smo-King Pit has been at the Northwoods Mall for more than 16 years. It closed on Aug. 7 for the renovation.

Owner Michael Citchens said they initially planned to re-open in October, but supply chain shortages in metal and stainless steel caused delays.

He said the restaurant has doubled in size to seat up to 100 people, and is designed to be COVID-friendly.

“So instead of doing table service, we’ll do counter service. It will take away from a lot of one-on-one contact with our customers, and hopefully we’ll keep everybody safe,” he said.

The expansion will also help increase catering orders. Citchens said catering made up 35-40% of pre-pandemic sales, but has dropped to 5%.

“That was our second objective when we expanded. We put in more refrigeration space and more freezers so we can do more in the catering side as well,” he said.

Citchens said the restaurant will open mid-January.

“Its been a dream come true,” he said.

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