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BBQ Coming to Shell

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The Shell gas station on Bellefontaine Street is trading in its car wash for a barbecue joint as it undergoes a remodel that is set for completion by the end of October.

Shell owner Bryan Hutchison said the remodel, which will expand the building 25 feet toward the road and eliminate the car wash, will make room for Hickory Pit BBQ, a restaurant and catering service Hutchison first opened at the Marathon gas station in Delphos.

“It’s something I’ve been doing in Delphos for about five years, so when I decided to expand the (Shell) store, I wanted to make room for the barbecue offering,” Hutchison said. “It does pretty well and people like it. It’s good food and I enjoy doing it.”

The menu will feature a variety of barbecue options including beef brisket, pulled pork and baby back ribs, as well as other food items such as pizza, subs, salad and fried foods.

According to its mission statement, Hickory Pit BBQ has “a commitment to quality ingredients and outstanding taste” and strives to bring “robust and succulent flavors to all our foods, whether it’s our brisket, ribs, sandwiches, or even our delicious pizzas.”

Hutchison said adding restaurants to gas station convenience stores has been a trend for the past couple decades and is now almost essential for gas stations to thrive.

“As time has gone by, margins have gotten tougher, and corporations have bought each other out, so you have to find something else in order to make it,” he said. “That’s why you’re seeing lots of gas stations partner with food franchises to encourage different types of revenue.”

For the full story, see the Friday, Sept. 5 edition of the Wapakoneta Daily News.