Babes BBQ Shack plans to rebuild after second fire in a year - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Babes BBQ Shack plans to rebuild after second fire in a year

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A Garden City BBQ restaurant is planning to rebuild despite their cookers catching fire for the second time in a year.

Sam Tompkins, the owner of Babes BBQ Shack on U.S. 80 in Garden City, said he is at a loss and doesn't really know what he can to prevent the smokehouse fires.

He said it is a popular restaurant in the area, and the smoker grills are practically running 24/7, so he said fires may happen.

Inside Babes BBQ Shack, it looked like the typical Thursday lunch crowd, despite an early morning fire.

"I thought there wasn't going to be any food," said customer Brandon China. "I thought I was going to get turned around, but they still served us."

To help keep customers fed, the Babes at the Market location had to step up.

"They lost all of their food," said Tompkins. "It burned up in the walk in cooler in the outside area, so we had to share food with them, which really put both places at a disadvantage."

Tompkins runs the restaurants with his wife, and he said this is the second time the shed housing the grills has caught fire.

"Someone asked me if they think someone set it on fire, and I replied, ‘I don't think so. We are getting pretty good at doing it ourselves.' That's a joke. I am getting perplexed on how to stop it. Building fires there every day in a wooden structure."

"It's a good thing he makes a lot of money here, because rebuilding it every time has to be a hassle," said customer Billie Betterton. "It is a smokehouse. You have a higher risk than other places."

Due to the intensity of the heat put out by the grills, Tompkins said they house them in a screened-in shed, a shed they will soon rebuild.

"We aren't going to close, we are going to stay open," said Tompkins. "It's such a popular place, people are crazy about the BBQ. We are going to have to get it going."

"I think people will still come," said China. "I think they need to be more careful to save the business, because everyone talks good about them."

The fire was ruled accidental, and thankfully Babes BBQ Shack has insurance. They plan to be fully operational in the next few weeks.

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