Inside the first Dickey’s Barbecue Pit in Fresno
The Dickey’s Barbecue Pit in central Fresno has closed.
The restaurant at 5776 N. Blackstone Ave. near Bullard Avenue in front of Target opened in November 2016.
Now, it’s closed and there’s an eviction notice on the door.
Fresno County Sheriff’s spokesman Tony Botti confirmed the restaurant was served eviction papers April 26 and the business was closed by May 7.
Despite the locked doors, all the tables and chairs remain inside, with bags of chips still lined up at the counter.
It’s not the first time a Dickey’s has closed in the area.
The Dickey’s that opened in the new shopping center at Friant Road near Fresno Street closed in 2017, barely a year after it opened. The Dickey’s in Porterville – the first to open in the area – also closed.
A string of franchised Dickey’s locations have also closed nationwide in recent years.
In the 2018 fiscal year ending in May 2018, 113 locations closed, according to the publication Restaurant Business. According to the website UnhappyFranchisee.com, at least 70 Dickey’s closed in 2017, including locations in Modesto and Tracy.
A Dickey’s franchisee in Sacramento sued the Dallas-based company earlier this year after closing nine locations. The Sacramento Bee reported the franchisee was upset with what he perceived as a lack of support from the corporation. His attorney said he felt the corporation lied to him about the franchise’s financial wellbeing, marketing support and menu stability.
The franchise owner of the closed Fresno location could not be reached for comment and the corporate headquarters did not immediately return emails or a phone call seeking comment.
The Blackstone restaurant and several others in Fresno were originally opened by partners. “We sold the restaurants quite some time ago,” Bryan Roche said. “They were failing when we had them, so we sold them. … There’s a big story in how the franchisor treats its franchisee.”
Dickey’s website still lists several restaurants open in the area, including the one at 6611 N. Riverside Drive in the Marketplace at El Paseo and two in Clovis, one on Shaw Avenue and another on Herndon Avenue.
Bethany Clough: (559) 441-6431, @BethanyClough