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Ask Matt ... about new building, Etowah Smokehouse

Q. What is that interesting looking building going up next to those two big white tanks on Spartanburg Highway near Cason Builders Supply?

That would be the new home for Blossman Gas & Appliance. After ten years of leasing property on US 64 East in Etowah, they are building their own facility. The new location will serve existing propane customers and allow the company to expand service on the east side of I-26 as well as into Polk County.
The store has an art deco design with a modern shine. It has a larger showroom floor that can offer expanded appliance selections including vented fireplaces, grills, fire pits, outdoor furniture, lighting, generators, water heaters, cooktops and more. Emily McCollin, Blossman’s public relations manager, said an open house is planned when they cut the ribbon for the new store later this summer. I suspect they will offer up some barbecue slow cooked on a propane-fired grill.
Blossman deals with propane gas, a naturally safe, clean energy source that has been used in millions of homes for almost 70 years. Propane fuel is popular because it has a low boiling point and is vaporized as soon as it is released from the bottle. No carburetor is needed. Propane gas can come from a variety of supply points but most of it is delivered by truck to Henderson County from Apex, just south of Raleigh. Blossman Gas & Appliance is a family-owned company with more than 75 branches in the Southeast.

Q. What happened to the Old Etowah Smokehouse? Is it going to reopen?

The long-established barbecue restaurant closed in December of 2017. “It was strictly a business decision,” said Tim Rice, managing partner of the Etowah Valley Golf Club & Lodge. The Golf Club partnership, a group of 14 businessmen, purchased the restaurant property in 2016 and operated it for over two years. Many residents will remember the wooden-sided building as the former home of the Barbecue Shack, a popular eatery founded by Gene Miles in 1981.
Rice said that buying the restaurant was a business opportunity because the property was adjacent to the golf course and fronted on U.S. 64 plus it allowed access to five acres of landlocked property that could be used for future development. After it was purchased, a narrow bridge was quickly built over the adjacent stream so that players could drive their golf carts from the fairway to the restaurant.
Think weddings and pig pickings. “Last year, even though our restaurant operation was marginally profitable, we decided to change its use,” said Rice. “We plan to rent out the facility for weddings and large events.” The building, which will be referred to as the Catering House, has 110 seats indoors plus another 70 outside. Downstairs are pool tables, a bar and bandstand. Existing staff from both Zeke’s and Chelsea’s — the Golf Club’s two other eating establishments — will assist with the catering business, which will feature a full catering menu with all ABC permits.

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