Dave Nelson, co-owner of Smokin’ Dave’s BBQ, smokes meat at the Main Street business in Norway in 2018. Jon Bolduc/Sun Journal file photo

NORWAY — Dave Nelson is taking his barbecue business from the restaurant on Main Street to a food truck to cater to the public at events around Oxford Hills starting Aug. 14.

Smokin’ Dave’s Backyard BBQ & Grill opened four years ago 230 Main St.

“The building has been sold and the new owners will be opening their own restaurant,” Nelson announced on the restaurant’s Facebook page. “We were offered every opportunity to purchase the building but, unfortunately, were not able to do so. Our landlord was more than patient and understanding with us during our four years here. And we will so miss this supportive town, this community and this ‘great old house.’

“Smokin’ Dave’s will continue on,” Nelson wrote. “We are purchasing a food trailer and are excited at the possibility of attending local events and setting up shop in the Oxford Hills. The catering piece of our business will continue as well. We will be busy into the fall with our catering commitments and other events.”

Nelson and his wife, Marcia, started the business in 2015, first vending at Oxford Plains Speedway and then opening a shop on Nichol Street in South Paris. When the Main Street site became available in 2017, they signed a lease, renovated it and opened in June 2018.

Smokin’ Dave’s thrived, making it through the pandemic and public health pressures surrounding it, labor challenges and supply shortages. But the Nelsons’ dedication and customer support could not outrun the hot real estate market.

As of Wednesday morning, Nelson’s post about the restaurant closing was approaching 800 reactions between likes and tears, comments and shares.

“Aug. 14th will be a very sad day but we are looking forward to the future and our new adventures,” Dave Nelson said.

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