Abilene restaurant makes permanent changes following shutdown, grinding down expenses


ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A local restaurant is making some permanent changes following the COVID-19 shutdown.

It’s exactly what you would expect walking into the back kitchen at Sugar’s Smokehouse Abilene.

The sounds of onions on the grill and knives on the cutting board fill the space as the team gets ready for the dinner rush.

If you don’t know the restaurant business though, you might not realize that the use of a meat grinding machine is a bit old school.

“The motor was my granddad’s,” said the Sugar’s Smokehouse owner. “I’m not even sure how old it is.”

The owner at the restaurant says he grew up working for his grandpa in his family’s butcher shop, but it’s been years since he’s used a meat grinder.

“Oh I bet I was old has my son and he’s 11 right now,” said the owner.

Once the pandemic hit, the owner says he decided to dust off the old motor and put it to use tenderizing and grinding his own meat to cut down on the rising prices.

“It’s super expensive and hard to find the pork the chicken the beef, all of that has gone up tremendously so it’s making it hard for restaurants to even survive,” said Ashley Homen at Sugar’s Smokehouse Abilene.

In these day’s it’s just hard to get what we need,” said the owner.

So what started as a temporary fix to make burgers and chicken fried steak is now becoming a more permanent way of doing things.

“It’s awesome because it’s all hands-on,” said Homen. “It makes it so we know what’s going inside the meat and the price is so much better as well.

Even with doors opening and prices dropping, one thing in this restaurant will remain the same and that’s the sounds coming from the back.

The owner says he plans to buy additional meat grinders in the coming months so they can make a more permanent shift.

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