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Exclusive: New barbecue restaurant coming to Lexington

Willie Jewell's Bar-B-Q will open in Lexington.
Willie Jewell's Bar-B-Q will open in Lexington. Facebook screenshot

A new barbecue restaurant will be opening in Lexington in the Saluda Pointe shopping center in the space formerly occupied by Barberitos Southwestern Grille and Cantina.

Jacksonville, Fla.-based Willie Jewell’s Old School Bar-B-Q will open in the center, located next to Chick-fil-A. The restaurant serves turkey, chicken, pork, beef brisket, sausage and ribs by the pound or platter and has side dishes such as baked beans, collard greens and Brunswick stew.

Willie Jewell’s is described on the company’s website as “the fast casual sister concept of Bono’s Pit Bar-B-Q, a 69-year-old Southern Pit Bar-B-Q legend founded in 1949 in Jacksonville, Fla.” The company opened its first location in Florida in 2009 and now operates 12 restaurants with plans to open a Brunswick, Ga., location in addition to the Lexington location. Two operations already are open in South Carolina — in Aiken and North Charleston.

No opening date has been set yet for the Lexington location.

According to the company website, the restaurant is named in honor of Willie Jewell Daniels — a 16-year-old girl with no home and no means who began working for the founders of the original Bono’s restaurant, The Adeeb Family.

“As she went to work in their family restaurants, she quickly proved that she could cook almost anything and commanded respect in the kitchen. They soon discovered an amazing lady who would change their lives forever,” the website states. “Not only was Willie Jewell an exceptional cook, but she had a sharp wit and an immeasurable heart.”

She has since passed away, “but her legend lives on through Willie Jewell’s Old School Bar-B-Q,” the website said.