THIS BEAUTIFUL GRAFFITI ART WALL, that runs all the way around the bar area, was recently started by Kevin Burdick of Flint. He will be going back to finish and add the owner’s names and employee’s names also.
(Independent Photo/Melissa Shepard)
Union Station Smoke House owners Dave O’Bryant and Colleen Bradley, along with silent partner Dennis Sharp, are very thankful for all the support from everyone during the past year. Located at 205 E. Main St. in Durand, Union Station Smoke House is now fully re-opened inside as of Dec. 3.
Dave Bryant and his mom, Colleen Bradley, along with Dennis Sharp, who had the idea to buy the restaurant, bought the restaurant in November of 2018, after it had sat closed for six months. The business was doing well and everyone was happy; then the COVID-19 pandemic hit one year and five months after they bought it. In the face of adversary, the mother and son duo re-opened using a food trailer on their patio on April 2018 of that year. The food trailer is now used to do events away from the business.
Eleven months later, at 6:15 a.m. on the morning of Feb. 5, they received a call that there was a fire. An electrical surge from the power line caught fire mainly in the kitchen. Again, the restaurant closed to fix the damage; and per the building code inspector, upgrade the plumbing, electrical, insulation, etc. to code.
In May, the weekend after Railroad Days, they were given the okay from the health department and building inspector to open up the dining room and begin serving customers; and then re-opened the restaurant fully inside on Dec. 3.
Definitely a lot for new business owners to go through in the first few years. Yet, both Dave and Colleen are committed and it shows; they both made a change in career to buy the restaurant. Both cook also: Dave does meat prep and cooks during the day, while Colleen does side preps and cooks at night. It’s truly a family affair. Dave’s wife, Becky (they have 4 children) works there; his brother, T.J. helps out and is the “back of the house mechanic” – and his dad is often seen helping out, also.
When asked what he thought his specialties were, Dave responded, “my homemade soups, brisket, ribs, spoon bread and the sweet corn casserole.” Union Station Smoke House also features daily and weekly specials. These can be found on their website and their Facebook page. Also, new is a Tik Tok page: USSH_we_smoke_that, where you can see a video of Dave taking some meat fresh out of the smoker.
Colleen ended with, “We can’t thank everyone enough – all the county officials, the customers, the community. The response and backing we received was what we needed to get through this. Our employees (currently 10: seven full-time and three part-time) also stood by us and gave 100 percent. It’s just overwhelming. But we are having so much fun.”
Dave added, “I want to thank the community of Durand and the customers for sticking with us through all this. This community has just been great.”
Union Station Smoke House is open five days a week, closed Monday and Tuesday. They hope to be offering breakfast soon.