Rick’s Smokin’ Pig on Riverside Drive in Gainesville closed earlier this month, but owner Rick Shaw is looking for a new location to dish out his barbecue pork and ribs.
“We’re looking for not necessarily another retail location but a commercial kitchen we can cater out of or do special events,” Shaw said on Thursday, July 19.
Shaw had operated out of the old Pasquale’s restaurant at 1011 Riverside Drive since 2015. A new owner took over the property and told Shaw in early July he had plans for a convenience store.
“We basically have the rest of this month (to leave),” Shaw said. “We’re trying to get everything out and closed down by this weekend.”
This isn’t his first relocation, but his first one was by choice.
Shaw first operated out of a shopping center spot off John W. Morrow Jr. Parkway. At the time, Boma Pennebaker had owned and operated Pasquale’s restaurant since 1980.
Health issues and a desire to spend more time with family led to Pennebaker giving up reins of the restaurant and Shaw taking over, Pennebaker said at the time. The merger also included the food, with pasta sharing space with barbecue on Shaw’s menu.
The new owner, Ali Sadegh, said Thursday he is no longer sure about his development plans. He said he has been told his chances would be slim in getting a rezoning for a convenience store/gas station.
The property is currently zoned for neighborhood business, said Rusty Ligon, Gainesville’s community development director.
“I’m just holding onto (the property) now,” Sadegh said.
Shaw, meanwhile, is hoping his customers will follow him wherever he goes.
“I’ve got a pretty good calling of customers, and when we get relocated, I think it would be good to get the word out to them that we’re now located in so-and-so and to give us a call,” he said.