Barely a year after it opened, the Dickey’s Barbecue Pit at the new shopping center in northeast Fresno has closed.
The doors are locked and the chairs and tables are gone.
It was one of several new restaurants, along with Jersey Mike’s Subs and the Habit Burger Grill, that opened in a new building facing Friant Road near Fresno Street. The Park Crossing shopping center is home to Sportsman’s Warehouse and is still under construction, with Trader Joe’s and other retailers coming soon.
The fast-casual Dickey’s opened with fanfare June 2 of last year, selling its barbecued meats and offering free vanilla cones after every meal. The Porterville Dickey’s – the first to open in the central San Joaquin Valley – has also closed.
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So what happened?
While it’s not entirely clear, dozens of Dickey’s around the country have closed or been transferred to new owners, according to various news reports and the website UnhappyFranchisee.com.
The franchisees who have opened several Dickey’s in the Fresno area in recent years did not return calls seeking comment, nor did anyone from Dickey’s corporate office in Dallas.
Harold Zinkin, one of the shopping center’s owners who also handles its leases, said the franchisees are blaming the corporate office for some issues, possibly involving menu changes or distributors.
“They are having a problem nationwide with their stores so it’s not a local issue,” he said. “They’re closing a lot of them … throughout the country.”