Fire spoils grand opening of new BBQ restaurant in Smithville

SMITHVILLE, Mo. -- A new barbecue restaurant on the town square caught fire Tuesday. Owners are assessing damages Wednesday and vowing to rebuild.

Chops BBQ and Catering was supposed to have its ribbon cutting and grand opening today on the Smithville town square.

Instead, insurance adjusters are taking photos of the fire damaged structure.

The restaurant actually had been open for about two weeks and was doing quite well.

A malfunction in the barbecue smoker at the back of restaurant is being blamed for starting the blaze at about dinner time Tuesday.

Witnesses reported seeing lots of black sooty smoke. The smoker area was sealed off from the rest of the restaurant.

Luckily no one was hurt in the fire. The fire department estimates damages at about $40,000.

A neighboring business owner also claims to have some smoke damage.

The owner tells FOX 4 News he hopes to reopen within two weeks.