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Porky’s Smokehouse to add new drive-thru

Owner of Bayfield eatery saw benefits at prior location during COVID-19 pandemic
Joe Richardson prepares his inventory of pork on May 16 ahead of Porky's soft reopening at its new location in Bayfield. (Matt Hollinshead/Durango Herald file)
May 27, 2024
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Porky’s Smokehouse looks to bolster sales by resuming a tried-and-true method that previously served the restaurant well: drive-thru service.

The Bayfield restaurant saw promise with a drive-thru at its old Ignacio location, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Porky’s owner Dayson Goetz said the restaurant “scrambled” and implemented a drive-thru at the old location about a week after COVID-19 entered the picture.

“We tore out a wall and added a building. We scrambled, and that’s what saved us during COVID,” he said. “The drive-thru proved to be a very good thing, a very big asset for us.”

Porky’s, which first launched operations in Ignacio in 2019, aims to open its new drive-thru by the final weekend of June.

Although Goetz initially had to prioritize staffing over a drive-thru in the early months of operations, the previous location’s drive-thru helped keep things afloat when customers stopped by to get their food orders during the pandemic.

“It kind of started a new way of doing things,” he said. “I really think COVID made the drive-thru very popular. People can call in an order on their way home from work, or they can just swing on through real quick and grab it.”

The restaurant again dealt with adversity when its Ignacio location closed after a fire last year, but was able to get back on its feet by reopening in Bayfield last month.

The new single-lane drive-thru will be similar to the previous one. Goetz said the drive-thru lane location will be on the west side of the building, or the left-hand side near the front entrance.

In the event the restaurant encounters a complicated order during an extremely busy lunch hour, similar to its Ignacio location, Goetz said customers would need to pull forward or pull out so an employee can bring out their order to them.

“That way, it keeps the line from getting backed up,” he said.

Goetz also said the drive-thru will be helpful for the Bayfield eatery, located at the former Wells Group building just off U.S. Highway 160 near Commerce Drive, because dining occupancy is limited to about 60. The old Ignacio location could accommodate up to about 80 people.

To properly install its new drive-thru, Porky’s must re-stripe the section of the premises where the drive-thru will be so its customers can easily back out and exit. Currently, the drive-thru location is in a one-way exit lane.

“We just have to change the striping to where it’s straight pull in,” Goetz said, adding customers would loop around the building to access the drive-thru. “Those are (currently) diagonal as you come in. They have to be straight (going forward).”

To access the new drive-thru, customers will have to pull up to the front, then loop around to the back of the building, Goetz said.

“Basically, they’d circle around the building,” he said.

mhollinshead@durangoherald.com



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