Burt and Dee Dee Bunte closed Zimmerhanzel’s BBQ in Smithville at the end of last year, ending a 36-year run in the town just east of Austin.
The property did not sit vacant for long. Cliff Burns, owner of adjacent butcher shop Smithville Food Lockers, purchased the business in January and opened Smithville Pit Barbecue in the building at 303 Royston St. just off Texas 71.
Dee Dee Bunte told the Smithville Times last month that her parents opened the Food Locker in 1946, before opening the restaurant in 1980. Bunte said she and her husband worked six days a week at the restaurant since the doors opened their senior year of high school.
Fran Hunter of the Smithville Times reported in February that Burns intended to keep Zimmerhanzel employees Kay Hurst, Kathy Hurst and Leanne Penick on staff, with well-known local Leon Prasek working the pits.
Smithville Pit Barbecue has a dining room open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, with a walk-up window open Tuesday-Thursday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.