In response to recent local speculation, Smokin’ Jack’s, an area institution for nearly thirty years famous for its unique smokehouse food and live music, has issued the following statement through its CEO, J. D. Mann:
Smokin’ Jack’s is one of the true success stories of Preston County, and we are on the verge of an era of growth into new markets that will result in some great benefits for all of Preston County; however, based on a great deal of speculation that has circulated locally we feel that it is necessary to clarify that Smokin’ Jack’s not able at the present time to secure a location to open in Terra Alta, West Virginia. We consider this a truly unfortunate situation. We have been in discussions with the owners of Shorthorns Saloon to purchase its assets and take over its space, but those negotiations reached an impasse Thursday.
The building – and it really is a great old building – is just in too poor a shape for us to be confident to purchase. The building inspection was a real eye-opener: roof problems, water damage, possible foundation issues and problems with the exterior walls, in addition to the deeds of trust on the building and a trespass issue with the railroad property next door, were together too big a hurdle.
In addition, the financials didn’t make sense either; while going through our due diligence, given the amount of money that restaurant has been losing year after year, based on the current owners’ own financial statements, we couldn’t even consider paying what they were asking. We had high hopes for this location, but in the end, it has to make good business sense. Smokin’ Jack’s has a big future in the area, this just isn’t the right spot right now.
Our management team has been operating Shorthorns since June 1 in anticipation of closing the asset and real property sale by early July; discovery of the building’s problems, and an inability to reach a continuing lease or operating agreement on favorable terms, puts the future of the property in question.