In a small community it is always with great sadness to see a business close and the potential for a building to sit empty. Many residents will drive past the building daily and notice signs coming down and the once thriving business now desolate.
Residents also notice when new changes take place and life can once again be seen within the big windows when passing by. Excitement begins to form as talk of what new business is coming to town and what it will offer residents and visitors alike.
Growing up in Des Moines, Dave Smith had visited Corydon in the past as he traveled to the community to hunt with friends. Being a former resident of Chariton, he never imagined he would return to southern Iowa.
From 2001 to 2004 he owned and operated a barbeque restaurant in the Des Moines area until an injury forced an early retirement. As time passed and he was able to heal, he began thinking of starting up another restaurant.
“I was looking in Des Moines as I thought that was the location I wanted to be in again,” said Smith. “Then I heard about this building down here being available.”
The building was the former Lodge and most recently the Lodge Twisted restaurant and bar that closed in 2018 located on the north side of the Corydon square.
“It was about an eight-month ordeal before I decided to take the leap,” Smith laughed.
Smith signed the lease paperwork and the wheels began to turn on what his plans would be for the location to bring his home-style barbeque cooking to town.
He has spent most of the year making changes to the building location itself while also moving forward with his restaurant plans. Those walking past the large windows could peep in and see very obvious changes inside taking shape.
The bar that once could be seen just inside the front door has now been moved to the back of the restaurant near the kitchen. The walls now feature wainscoting with old barn galvanized steel panels and a hardwood floor throughout.
“When I first got in here, I was by myself a lot and I knew I wanted to make it a family place which is why I tore the bar out and moved it to the back,” Smith began. “When you have enough time to think you can envision a lot of things and I began to think how I wanted my barbeque place to be if I was building from the ground up.”
“I knew I wanted the wainscoting, hardwood floor and barn tin along with antiques on the walls and it just have the barbeque feel when you walk in,” he continued.
With plans to serve fresh food made daily, he plans to offer a wide variety of options for the lunch and dinner menus. Along with barbeque pulled pork, beef ribs, pork ribs, smoked chicken, smoked brisket, fish, steak options, burgers, sausage sandwiches and tenderloins, he will also offer seafood options including Louisiana style seafood boils and more.
Smith will still offer a full service bar within his new restaurant as some agree beer goes hand-in-hand with barbeque food.
Once opening, Son’z Smoke House BBQ will be open Tuesdays through Sundays and closed on Mondays. Tuesdays through Saturdays lunch hours will be 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. daily. Dinner hours Tuesday through Thursday will be 5 p.m. until 11 p.m. and open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
Sunday hours will be 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. with Smith offering brunch before reopening at 5 p.m. to serve dinner until 10 p.m.
“I need a little down time since I am cooking everything fresh daily and with me cooking low and slow it can take 14 hours for my pork butts to cook alone,” said Smith. “There will be a lot of time in effort in the process.”
“There’s so much I want to do, but I’m not bringing everything out right away so I can take baby steps on this,” he added.
Smith plans to offer something on the menu for everybody, no matter the age. Along with his home-style cooking, he also makes his own rubs, spices and sauces that will be used within the restaurant as well as being marketed for sale.
Although he wasn’t planning to return to southern Iowa and making a new home in Corydon, regardless of the time and work it has taken, he is happy with the choice he made.
“Everybody has been real friendly and welcoming to town,” he said. “My son Zyis is in second grade and has started school at Wayne this year and I took the leap of faith for him. I wanted to give him a better opportunity and get him out of the city.”
“I can’t walk anywhere here without people saying hi and it’s a pretty good feeling,” Smith added.
With plans to branch out in the future to franchise Son’z Smoke House BBQ, he is looking forward to opening his first location on the Corydon square hopefully within the next couple weeks in October.
Stay tuned to his Facebook page at Son’z Smokehouse for all upcoming announcements.