The co-owner of Legacy Smokehouse at 3987 Main St. in Old Hilliard said its grand opening exceeded expectations.
"It's been fantastic. ... We've had lines to the door each day at dinner," co-owner Chad Smock said Dec. 20.
After several postponements, Legacy Smokehouse opened Dec. 15, welcoming enough patrons that the restaurant ran out of brisket and pulled pork.
From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. that day, patrons consumed 200 pounds of brisket and and 200 pounds of pulled pork, said Smock, who stood at the door to inform disappointed customers who continued to arrive that the restaurant had sold out.
"We've had enough every day since," he said, but the opening day crowd, even with all that rain, was more than we anticipated.
When the restaurant was announced in March, Legacy Smokehouse was expected to open in June and the grand opening was first scheduled Dec. 1, postponed to Dec. 8 and postponed once more to Dec. 15.
Smock and his partners, Brian Jordan and Ty Sells, said the time required for zoning changes and permits led to the delays. Local interest kept building during that time.
"I know people are anxious as I am. I promise it will be worth the wait," Smock said in November.
Jordan Keiser and Kathy Hernandez were among the patrons who arrived Dec. 15.
"I've been super excited and waiting for this opening," said Keiser, a Galloway resident.
Hernandez, a Hilliard resident, was sampling Legacy Smokehouse for the first time.
"I never tried it but Jordan told me I had to come with her; it's great food," she said.
Legacy Smokehouse is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. It is closed Mondays.
The restaurant likely will remain open after 8 p.m. in the late spring and summer to allow patrons to enjoy the patio, manager Sean Sutter said.
Legacy Smokehouse is a former antique bookstore in Old Hilliard. A 700-square-foot addition was built on it to create the 1,600-square-foot restaurant.
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.