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FARMINGTON — Farmington's newest restaurant, Dickey's Barbecue Pit, is ready to open its doors to the public Thursday, adding another variety of barbecue to the area.

The national barbecue chain will open its newest location Thursday along Piñon Hills Drive on Messina Drive with a three-day grand opening celebration.

Owner Ernest Roybal said he hopes the business will offer a high level of service to customers and bring the community together.

"I think it's very exciting for our whole community," Roybal said. "I think everybody is excited to try a different flavor."

Based in Dallas, the barbecue chain has more than 500 locations in 43 states. The Farmington location is the fourth in the state, along with locations in Albuquerque, Hobbs and Las Cruces.

Roybal said the management staff has been working the last month to prepare the interior of the building before the rest of the staff started training. The managers worked on hanging up menu boards, decorating the seating area and ensuring equipment was installed properly.

About 30 full- and part-time employees have been training since Sunday in preparation for the grand opening.

Roybal described the barbecue as Texas style with the restaurant using the same barbecue sauce created by founder Travis Dickey in 1941, along with special seasoning made by the Dickey family used as rubs on the pork butt and brisket.

"We smoke everything low and slow to perfection," Roybal said.

The indoor smoker runs around the clock, cooking ribs throughout the day, then pork butt and brisket overnight for about 13 to 14 hours. The meats are cooked over a hickory wood fire.

The entire process to marinate and cook the pork butt and brisket takes about two days.

Roybal said he hopes the restaurant's location along Piñon Hills Drive in the new development built by Silver Ridge Development Inc. will help it stand out.

"I believe that we're in an excellent place to be one of the first major restaurants in this area due to the fact that there is not a lot out here," Roybal said.

As part of the grand opening events, Dickey's Barbecue Pit is holding a three-day celebration through Saturday. Guests can enter to win one of three prizes for free barbecue for a year. The first 50 guests today will receive gift cards worth up to $50.

The restaurant can hold about 72 people, and Roybal said he is looking into installing outdoor patio seating in the future.

Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 and jkellogg@daily-times.com. Follow him @jkelloggdt on Twitter.

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