Tioga barbecue joint to reopen after 2016 fire - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Tioga barbecue joint to reopen after 2016 fire

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TIOGA, TX --  A local barbecue joint that lost everything in a fire back in January 2016 is finally firing up the coals again.

It's been a long 18 months for the owner of Clark's Outpost. "Annoying, bothersome and angry," said James Hilliard.

Construction on the new restaurant started after a fire in the winter of 2016. That fire destroyed a Tioga landmark; Clark's has been around since 1974.

"It was a terrible night. That's really the only thing you can say about it. Just an awful night. Preferably forgotten," said Hilliard.

On Sunday, the first brisket was put in the cooker in the new Clark's. They're scheduled to reopen on July 1.

"Right now the excitement is just beyond words," said Hilliard.

Keeping the spirit of the original Clark's alive, the new restaurant was built with the 120-year-old brick salvaged from the debris.

"We can't have our old building back, but we can have the characteristics with us, and these bricks have been thoroughly smoked," said Hilliard.

Some are even charred from the fire.

Most all the familiar favorites are still on the menu, with a personal note from the owner thanking the people of Tioga.

"They've given us the support and the fact they miss us. You don't realize until you go through something as to how important they can be," said Hilliard.

With barbecue finally cooking, Clark's is ready to be back in business.

"You can smell the aroma, and feel the excitement every time you walk by the cooker," said Hilliard.

He said they are hiring several new people and expect to work out kinks for the first few weeks. Plans for outdoor patio seating are also in the works.