Restaurant News & Reviews

Have you seen this smoker? This Durham restaurant owner would like it back.

The catering smoker for It’s a Southern Thing was stolen this week, the restaurant owner said. Here it is pictured in the West Village Apartment complex in Durham.
The catering smoker for It’s a Southern Thing was stolen this week, the restaurant owner said. Here it is pictured in the West Village Apartment complex in Durham.

A $1,500 smoker was stolen from restaurant It’s a Southern Thing, and its owner is offering a reward for its return.

Owner Pete Susca announced the smoker had been stolen on the restaurant’s Facebook page Tuesday afternoon.

In an interview, Susca said someone broke into a storage locker below the restaurant between Monday and Tuesday and took the smoker. The storage locker is shared with the West Village Apartments complex. Susca said a gate was broken into, but only the smoker was disturbed.

The restaurant used the medium-sized smoker exclusively to cook for events outside the restaurant, Susca said.

“It was kind of a shock when we went down and saw that it was gone,” he said. “Thankfully we don’t have another event until April. They broke the gate and took the smoker. Nothing is really locked inside the storage unit. It can be accessed by anyone in the Village complex.”

Smokers often start at a few hundred dollars but can quickly go up in price for commercial units, easily topping five figures. Susca’s smoker is a Meadow Creek offset smoker. He said he’s trying to obtain security camera footage of the theft and speak to anyone in the apartment complex who may have witnessed it.

“Unfortunately it’s a common-looking smoker,” Susca said. “It looks like a home barbecue grill.”

In 2016, someone stole Raleigh chef Ashley Christensen’s smoker, which was insured for $10,000 and a custom-built gift from a friend when she won the 2014 James Beard Award. It was never recovered.

It’s a Southern Thing opened in the fall in the former Motto space on Main Street in Durham. Susca was Motto’s bar manager.

Drew Jackson; 919-829-4707; @jdrewjackson

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