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Sugarfire Smokehouse plans to open at the recently remodeled Southgate Center, shown here in fall 2018.
Photo provided by Wilhoit Properties Inc.
Sugarfire Smokehouse plans to open at the recently remodeled Southgate Center, shown here in fall 2018.

St. Louis barbecue chain to enter Springfield

Posted online

Last edited 1:49 p.m., April 9, 2019

Barbecue styles from multiple states are coming to Springfield by way of St. Louis-based Sugarfire Smokehouse.

Mike Johnson, co-owner of the company, said franchisees David Whitman and David Burke, of St. Louis, are expected to open the Springfield Sugarfire restaurant in the fall at 1730 E. Republic Road in the Southgate Center.

Johnson said Sugarfire’s menu includes Kansas City-style pork, Memphis-style ribs and Texas-style brisket.

“We try to buy locally sourced stuff for the specials,” he said.

Johnson said across the 14-restaurant chain — four of which are corporate owned — roughly 10 tons of meat are prepared per day. He said the Sugarfire brand has appeared on national television, including the Travel Channel’s “Food Paradise” last year and on “Beat Bobby Flay” in 2016.

Franchisees pay a $50,000 franchise fee, as well as 5 percent royalties, he said.

Wilhoit Properties Inc. real estate agent Anita Zimmerman served as the transaction broker in the deal. She’s the listing agent for Southgate Center and also was hired by Sugarfire to find a suitable location in Springfield.

Zimmerman said franchisees Whitman and Burke penned a five-year lease for undisclosed terms to occupy 4,100 square feet at the shopping center. The west endcap space is a former office that recently was remodeled — along with the entire Southgate Center — to include outdoor pergolas, a new exterior and landscaping, she said.

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