Smokey Bones Rolls Out Pandemic-Inspired Prototype

Located in Avon, Ind., the 5,800-sq.-ft. store has been designed to elevate the experience for both to-go and dine-in customers.

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The Avon, Ind., store features a dedicated to-go vestibule, updated dining room and redesigned kitchen. Courtesy of Smokey Bones.

Smokey Bones is opening its first brick-and-mortar location since the pandemic, and it features the barbecue brand’s new design that it’s calling its “restaurant of the future.”

Located in Avon, Ind., the 5,800-sq.-ft. store has been designed to elevate the experience for both to-go and dine-in customers. It features a dedicated to-go vestibule with its own entrance, separate menu board, POS, dedicated waiting area with seating and to-go parking directly outside the door to cater to delivery and takeout customers.

For dine-in customers, the 160-seat dining room has been refreshed to create a more “intimate” experience. It showcases the brand’s central bar with large garage-type doors that open to the patio, which has been outfitted with TVs, speakers and a fire pit.

The back-of-house also has been redesigned to accommodate Smokey Bones’ two virtual brands, The Wing Experience and Burger Experience, and has space for future virtual restaurant concepts.

“This restaurant has been designed to meet today’s guest preferences, which is a comfortable dining experience when eating in and an easy, convenient and fast pickup area when dining away,” says CEO James O’Reilly in a press release. “We want to make Smokey Bones available anytime, anywhere, and the bar and dining room area, and dedicated to-go lobby, deliver both to our guests.”

Smokey Bones says the design will serve as a prototype for future locations. It also comes as the casual dining brand is dabbling in even more off-premise-focused models. In February, Smokey Bones announced it will open its first restaurant with a traditional drive-thru this month in Bowling Green, Ky.

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