Two years ago, the Food Network declared some of the finest barbecue in the country could be had at Smalley's Caribbean Barbeque and Pirate Bar in Stillwater. But not much longer.
Owner Shawn Smalley confirmed on Thursday to the Stillwater Current that a "conflict about the lease" will lead to the space closing after this weekend. News of the potential closing first circulated in a Wednesday afternoon report from Eater Twin Cities.
“I didn’t want this to happen,” Smalley told the Stillwater Current. “I’m f*****g pissed off, and I’m really sad. This is not how I wanted it to end.”
The pirate-themed diner known for its Jamaican jerk barbecue is housed in a building (at 423 Main Street South) that's under new ownership, Eater said.
A few days ago, restaurant owners learned they would have to close for "unspecified reasons."
Smalley's has been a popular dining spot in Stillwater since its opening in 2008. It's the brainchild of chef Shawn Smalley and Tim McKee, the James Beard Award winning chef who once ran La Belle Vie – where Eater says Smalley once worked.
The eatery has been featured on the Food Network four times, including on an episode Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives where host Guy Fieri braved a basket of fiery "666 Wings" containing an ingredient Chef Smalley calls "death juice."
Besides flaming hot chicken, the restaurant also serves up smoked meats, seafood, jerk tacos, and a mac and cheese that will be sorely missed by many.
This guy claims the last chance to sample the menu is Saturday: