Q: We drive by Mr. Barbecue regularly and nothing seems to be happening. We hope they still plan to reopen!

L.B.

Answer: SAM has heard from many readers concerned about the restaurant on Peters Creek Parkway, which was damaged by a fire on April 10.

The good news is that the restaurant will be coming back, said Jimmy Carros, the restaurant manager and son of owner Nick Carros. The bad news is that it won’t be as soon as they had hoped, and it may be 2020 before the restaurant re-opens.

On Facebook back in June, the owners had said they hoped to be re-opened this fall, but Jimmy Carros said that estimate had been “pretty optimistic” and a lot of complications got in the way. “I wish I could give something more, but until I have something rubber-stamped, I’m just going to say that we’ll be back.”

They are working with the city and the health department on plans for the reconstruction, and hope to get started soon on the work. He does not want to give a firm estimate of how long it will take because of variables including the weather, but said he hopes once the work gets underway it will take about six months to complete.

“The fire was pretty devastating, and we’re doing a lot of reconstruction,” Jimmy Carros said, which will include new engineering, plumbing, electrical work, and roofing.

“It doesn’t look as bad on the outside as on the inside,” he added. “It compromised the walls.”

Carros said that the fire started from leaves that had collected on top of the roof and were sparked by a cinder from the pit area that blew onto the leaves during strong southwest winds on the day of the fire.

“We had never had this happen before,” he said, “and we are putting systems in place to make sure it never happens again.”

He said the repairs will cost “easily a million dollars plus,” and that insurance is covering about 90 percent of that. “We have great insurance, we’re working with a great team at Nationwide,” he said.

Carros said that it is sometimes easier to build a new facility than reconstruct an old one, but they did not seriously consider moving to a new location instead of rebuilding, since customers were so accustomed to its current location.

“Hopefully, we will get our customers back,” he said. “We look forward to serving the same good barbecue we have in the past.”

Q: My church has four burial plots in a very nice local cemetery that we would like to donate to an organization that would give them to needy individuals, preferably to needy veterans. Can you give us names and contact information of any such organizations?

J.F.

Answer: We have shared your contact information with H.A.R.R.Y Veterans Community Outreach Services, which can be reached at www.harry4you.org/ or 336-725-3410.

Other groups that may be able to help include Senior Services, which offers a variety of referral services to older veterans (www.seniorservicesinc.org/resources/directory/veterans-services/ or 336-725-0907) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which has a local office in Winston-Salem as well as the medical center in Kernersville (benefits.va.gov/winstonsalem/ or 800-827-1000).

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Email: AskSAM@wsjournal.com

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Write: Ask SAM, 418 N. Marshall St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101 

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