Franklin Barbecue sets Nov. 23 as reopening date for dining room

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Expect the familiar sight of lines to return next month at an east Austin food staple.

Franklin Barbecue announced on social media Wednesday that its dining room will reopen on Nov. 23 for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The restaurant wrote, “We have never been more excited to serve you.”

Because of safety concerns, the restaurant has only offered curbside pickup service. On its website, Franklin Barbecue wrote, “In light of recent news surrounding COVID-19 and the CDC’s recommendation to limit social gatherings to under 50 people, we have decided to suspend our dining room service for the time being.”

The restaurant’s website is letting people know that it will close on Nov. 21 to prepare for the return of diners.

Before the pandemic hit, people would stand in line for hours — some even bringing lawn chairs and blankets — while they waited to get a table inside Franklin Barbecue so that they could eat the world-renowned food.

The popular destination announced in August that it would postpone the reopening date for its dining room because the delta variant prompted Travis County to enter Stage 5, the highest level of its COVID-19 risk-based guidelines. However, the decline in cases and hospitalizations earlier this month led health experts to downgrade the area’s risk to Stage 3.

According to Texas Monthly’s latest rankings of BBQ places, Franklin Barbecue is listed as the seventh-best restaurant in the state — one of seven Austin locations that placed in the top 50. Franklin held the top spot in 2013 and No. 2 in 2017, but Texas Monthly said while “no one does the traditional barbecue lineup better,” innovations by newcomers are “reshaping the scene in ways we couldn’t have imagined a few short years ago.”

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