320 Fifth Street Restaurant

320 Fifth Street owners George Blackwell, left, and Shane Kelley, right. Photo/Linda Cranford

Next door to the soon coming Texas Pitmaster BBQ in Laurel is a small rusty red building that served as a TV repair shop many years ago. Three years in the making and the 320 Fifth Street will open in late July to offer a place to enjoy music, good food, and fellowship for the entire family.

Owners Shane Kelley and George Blackwell, who are members of the band “Down & Good,” started out looking for a place to function as a music venue for local groups to entertain the public.

“But, as we started developing the plan, we needed something a little more sustainable,” said Kelley. “Eventually, we decided to do a full restaurant and do it the right way. Our cook, James (Mahlak), is also in our band and he got back from New Mexico and said all he wanted to do was cook food and play music. I said, ‘well, I think we have a good opportunity together then, so let’s do that. And that’s what we’ve been doing.”

“What probably was going to be a six-month effort when we first got off on this thing turned into a three-year effort,” said Blackwell.

They are presently in the progress of building the stage, and there is a courtyard in the back for outdoor seating and live music, which will connect to the courtyard of the Texas Pitmaster BBQ next door.

“We are looking to be the entertainment of the north side of town,” said Blackwell.

“We offer lots of butter and love,” explained Blackwell when asked about the menu. “Easy to eat food that you won’t get tired of. And, it’s all freshly made.”

The menu will include gourmet hot dogs, soups, munchies, and sandwiches. The restaurant will be open Wednesday through Saturday at 5 p.m. until and on Sunday for brunch beginning at 11 a.m.

The staff also includes Ali Berry and G Elzey.

On Friday, June 26, 320 Fifth Street opened for a test run and invited a few people to sample the menu offerings.

Joe Parker, who owns the building next door where the Texas Pitmaster BBQ will be, said, “A couple of my hands tried the gourmet hot dogs and said you couldn’t put another thing on those hot dogs. They enjoyed them.”

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