The success of a mobile barbecue business will result in a potential legacy in Old Hilliard.
Legacy Smokehouse is scheduled to open in June at 3987 Main St. in Hilliard.
It will be in a former antique bookstore that once was owned and operated by Nelda Bridgeman.
“We think this will be something really cool for Hilliard,” said Columbus resident Chad Smock, 44, who owns Legacy Smokehouse with his partners, Brian Jordan of Grove City and Ty Sells of Commercial Point.
Smock, who has coached the Hilliard Davidson High School girls lacrosse team for seven years, and Jordan have been friends since kindergarten, he said, and the pair met Self at Grove City High School. All three are Grove City graduates.
Opening a restaurant had percolated in Smock’s mind for a number of years, he said, but a personal tragedy pushed it to the forefront.
In 2015, his daughter, Marisa, died as a result of an asthma attack. Marisa, 19, was a 2014 Davidson graduate and a freshman at John Carroll University, where she played lacrosse.
“We aren’t here forever,” Smock said.
Smock eventually left his job as an information-technology director and in October, he and his partners began operating the Legacy Smokehouse trailer Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays outdoors at a former Long John Silver’s site, 1102 S. High St., at the corner of South High and Greenlawn Avenue, in Columbus.
Their “central Texas-style” barbecue, which is smoked for 16 to 18 hours using white-oak logs – “no propane smokers,” Smock said – was featured in ThisWeek’s Dec. 14 edition of Table Talk.
“We sold out every weekend,” Smock said.
The name, he said, came to the trio after a trip to Texas to learn the trade.
“We were talking about these master grillers in Texas and how we were going to carry on what they do (in central Ohio),” Smock said. “We thought, ‘Hey, we’re kind of carrying on a legacy.’ ”
The name took on a deeper meaning, he said, pertaining to the legacy of their families, including Smock’s wife, Jill, and their children, Lexi and Nick, Marisa’s twin brother.
Legacy Smokehouse will operate on South High Street until March 23, when that part of the operation is expected to relocate to the Short North Food Hall at 1112 N. High St. in Columbus.
At about the same time Legacy Smokehouse got cooking last fall on South High, Andy Warnock, co-owner of Old Hilliard Ltd., reached out to Libby Gierach, president and CEO of the Hilliard Area of Commerce, concerning a parcel he had purchased for $500,000 at 3987 Main St.
That purchase was more than a year in the making after Bridgeman listed the parcel asking $695,000, according to Warnock.
“I worked 17 months to get it; it was a challenge,” he said.
Warnock asked Gierach to let him know if she was aware of any interest by anyone to open a restaurant in Old Hilliard; it wasn’t long before Smock, after the success of the mobile trailer, asked Gierach for any leads in opening a smokehouse in Old Hilliard.
“It was a good marriage,” Smock said of his introduction to Warnock through Gierach.
The parcel Warnock purchased has three structures: a 1,600-square foot, two-story brick building that fronts Main Street and what Warnock described a pole barn and a carriage house.
The barn, Warnock said, will be leased to a contractor for storage and a business office; the 900-square-foot carriage house will be rented as a residence.
A 700-square-foot addition will be added to the primary structure for Legacy Smokehouse, he said. The restaurant also will have second-floor patio seating.
Construction is expected to begin next month, Warnock said.
Hilliard’s planning and zoning commission unanimously approved the addition, a seven-space parking lot and other uses, March 8.
Hilliard city planner John Talentino said other parking would be available on-street and in a new 56-space lot the city expects to build at the corner of Madison and Wayne streets.