The challenge of opening a new business during a stay-at-home order

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. — Opening a new business can be daunting. Imagine starting a new restaurant during a stay-at-home order. SmokeRidge BBQ in Spokane Valley decided to take  on the challenge.

For so many local restaurants right now, curbside to-go is the only customer interaction you can have. It can make it pretty difficult to make a positive first impression, especially for new businesses.

SmokeRidge BBQ is housed in a retired train car in Spokane Valley.

“We were running a food truck last summer, and we got into weather like this last fall. Decided we would venture in, we found the opportunity to buy this train here, and so we decided to open a restaurant,” said John Sherwood, owner of SmokeRidge BBQ.

Though, none of us will get to dine-in for a while because of the stay-at-home order.

“When we started this in October, we didn’t know what COVID-19 was,” Sherwood said.

A bit of a daring decision, but the owners of SmokeRidge BBQ followed through with their opening on Tuesday.

“As a business owner, you have to do what you have to do to try to make the mortgage payment. This isn’t our choosing, we’ve kind of been rolling with what we have been given,” Sherwood said.

And so far, so good.

“A lot of pre-orders, so it’s going very well. Up to today, we’ve received a magnificent amount of support from the community,” Sherwood said.

Customers are loving the food and the restaurant is grateful to be able to light up your taste buds, from a distance.

SmokeRidge BBQ, like many other restaurants, are only offering pick-up orders. You can give them a call or text them at 509-710-3426, and they will bring your order right out to the car.