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Why Dickey’s 3 barbecue restaurants haven’t reopened in the Tri-Cities

Texas-based Dickey’s Barbecue Pit said it is looking for a new partner to operate closed restaurants in Kennewick, Richland and Pasco.
Texas-based Dickey’s Barbecue Pit said it is looking for a new partner to operate closed restaurants in Kennewick, Richland and Pasco. Tri-City Herald

Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants is looking for a new partner to operate three Tri-Cities restaurants that closed in June, apparently over unpaid taxes.

Signs posted in the windows of the closed restaurants at the time indicated they would reopen “shortly” following a change in ownership.

Two months later, nothing’s really happened.

Greer Martin, public relations manager for the Dallas, Texas-based parent company, confirmed Dickey’s is still interested in the Mid-Columbia.

“Dickey’s continues to pursue a new franchise partner(s) to manage the three Tri-City locations,” Martin said in response to a request for an update by the Tri-City Herald.

So what about the space?

While Dickey’s seeks a new franchisee, it’s unclear if the restaurants in Kennewick, Richland and Pasco have paid-up leases.

The Kennewick restaurant was inspected by its landlord Wednesday, according to a legal notice taped to the door.

That could be a sign Bellevue-based Wallace Properties is moving to retake the space. The company’s Kennewick attorney wasn’t available for comment on its plans.

The spaces aren’t being advertised to prospective tenants on LoopNet, a popular commercial real estate listing service.

Texas native Dan Pelfrey brought Dickey’s to the Tri-Cities in 2014 when he opened near Highway 395 and Kennewick Avenue. He later expanded to Richland’s Queensgate area.

The Pasco restaurant opened near TRAC, now the HAPO Center, in 2018.

It’s not looking good

Court records paint a picture of a business that struggled to pay its bills.

The Washington Department of Revenue received a $50,000 judgment against Pelfrey’s company, Lonestar Innovations, in March.

In July, the state Department of Labor and Industries filed a tax warrant claim against Lonestar in Franklin County Superior Court, seeking nearly $4,500.

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