The owners of Legacy Smokehouse, 3987 Main St. in Old Hilliard, say they hope to stage its grand opening Dec. 1.

A “soft opening” is possible even sooner but contingent upon inspection schedules, co-owner Chad Smock said Nov. 9.

“We can’t get it open soon enough,” said Smock, who acknowledged the public interest in its opening while it has been delayed several months.

In March, Smock and his partners, Brian Jordan and Ty Sells, said they anticipated an opening in June.

The opening was delayed, Smock said in July, because of the time required to obtain permits.

In addition, Legacy's owners applied Oct. 18 for new liquor permits for the restaurant, according to Lindsey LeBerth, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Division of Liquor Control.

The permits allow for the on-site consumption of wine, beer and spirituous liquors until 2:30 a.m. and Sunday sales, she said.

After a permit request is received, the division sends notices to the relative municipal government and to any property owner within 500 feet.

If no request for a hearing to object to permit is received, the permit process continues, LeBerth said.

Hilliard City Council on Nov. 14 decided to not object to the liquor-permit request.

On average, it takes 10 to 12 weeks to complete a liquor permit request and issue the permit, LeBerth said.

Legacy Smokehouse, which will serve Texas-style barbecue, will be in a former antique bookstore and residence in Hilliard.

A 700-square-foot addition was built onto the former bookstore to create a 1,600-square-foot restaurant fronting Main Street.

The trio of Legacy owners got their start dishing up barbecue from a mobile smoker off High Street in south Columbus.

They also own Legacy Smokehouse and Saloon at 340 Greenlawn Ave. near Columbus’ Brewery District.