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Big D's BBQ hoping for post-Memorial Day weekend opening in downtown Cumming
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Big D's BBQ hopes to open the restaurant's third location at 212 Atlanta Road in downtown Cumming the week after Memorial Day. - photo by Brian Paglia

The Cumming City Council unanimously approved an alcohol license for Big D’s BBQ at Tuesday's work session, paving the way for the popular Dawson County restaurant to expand into the downtown area.

The restaurant is expected to open “the week after Memorial Day,” according to Darin Muenchow, president of Big D’s BBQ, at 212 Atlanta Road.

It’ll be the third location for the company, which opened its first restaurant in Alpharetta in 2007 before moving to the outlet mall in Dawson County in 2009. Big D’s BBQ opened a second location in 2013 in downtown Dawsonville, Muenchow said.

The restaurant is known for its North Carolina-based barbecue, particularly its ribs and pork brownie sandwich, Muenchow said, and has won a host of readers’ choice awards from the likes of Georgia Magazine, TripAdvisor, Nextdoor and the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.

Muenchow has tried to bring the restaurant to Cumming for more than a year now, he said. He’s lived in Forsyth County since 1994, and he was attracted to the city’s anticipated growth.

Last year, he saw a small empty building on Atlanta Road and figured it could be a good location, particularly for lunch business with the nearby city and county government buildings.

“We feel this downtown area is in a good growth potential in the future,” Muenchow said.

Muenchow secured the building the same day he saw it, but “it’s been a long road, to say the least” to get the location ready for business, he said. The City Council approved an alcohol license for the restaurant last year but delays prevented it from opening within 30 days, and the license was forfeited.

That’s why Mayor Troy Brumbalow requested Tuesday that councilmembers wave the license fee for Big D’s BBQ this time around, which they did.

“I just want more barbecue,” Brumbalow said.