We are extremely sad to hear that Smokin' Betty's BBQ + Bar will be closing permanently on Sunday (Jan. 14). Such great people behind this project and they were bringing a cuisine that Salem lacked. We wish the best of luck to everyone involved.
Statement from Smokin' Betty's:
"I’d read once that 90% of restaurants fail in their first year. Well I guess I am joining that not very exclusive group. As of end of business on Sunday January 14th Smokin’ Betty’s BBQ + Bar will be shutting its doors.
Anyone who has ever started a business knows that it's not easy - if it was, everyone would do it and no one would fail.
Marie and I took a (very large) gamble to bring something that we loved to Salem. This was a very personal project for me. As many of you know, the restaurant was named after my late mother Betty Feldmann. My niece Nicole had her wedding ceremony in Betty’s over the summer. It was a room filled with art from my favorite local artists, video games I played as a kid, and to top it off we had a killer brisket and some damn good beer!
I’m sure there will be an online debate over the location we chose, or the quality or authenticity of the food. That’s fine and I get it. Personally I love the space we created and I absolutely loved the food our chefs were putting out. I still believe in the overall concept and I hope to bring it back (perhaps in a smaller venue) someday. We’ll see.
At the end of the day it really came down to simple math. We spent more money than we brought in and we projected a larger number of customers than we saw come through our doors. And by the end it was putting a major financial strain on our other two restaurants to keep it going. We don’t have investors nor do we have deep pockets so we had to make the call.
So what now?
We want to go out on a high note. This week will be business as usual. We’ll be hosting Geeks that Drink Trivia, Bingo, and the Bluegrass Brunch one final time. The staff you know and love will be holding it down. We hope that people have an opportunity to come in and use up their gift cards (and if they don’t we are working on transferring the cards over to Gulu and Saucer). And while you won’t be able to enjoy our BBQ within our beautiful restaurant space, we will be keeping Smokin’ Betty’s BBQ available for catering.
I personally wanted to thank my GM Erin Oliver and the rest of the Betty’s team. We have had a great staff over there and these guys have all worked so very very hard. I wish we didn’t have to stop.
We hope you enjoyed your time at Betty’s. Hope to see you again someday.
Steve and Marie - the owners"