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After delay, Famous Dave's plans March opening for Cottage Grove location

Cory Deckard of Four Corner Architectural Metal Company in Eagan installs sheet metal to an entrance of the soon-to-be Famous Dave's Barbecue in Cottage Grove. Bulletin photo by Emily Buss.1 / 2
Formerly Kentucky Fried Chicken, the exterior of the building that will house Famous Dave's is fixed with bright red awnings and metal flames. Bulletin photo by Emily Buss.2 / 2

Don't stock up on wet naps and Porky the Pig bibs just yet.

Cottage Grove-area residents will have to wait a little longer for a Famous Dave's restaurant to open.

The Minnetonka-based barbecue franchise famous for its hickory-smoked meats, cornbread and southern charm is renovating the former Kentucky Fried Chicken building at 8479 East Point Douglas Road, and had planned to open three months ago. However, late last week workers from a local architectural metal company were still affixing exterior décor while the interior sat full with construction equipment.

"There have been a lot of people stopping by asking when this place will open," said Cory Deckard, sheet metal worker for Four Corner Architectural Metal Company. Along with his work partner Greg Zerwas, Deckard has been on site for a week bolting fiery red awnings on several entrances and securing silver, grooved sheet metal to the exterior.

The private renovation project is part of a company-wide conversion program that buys vacant, smaller restaurant buildings and turns them into Famous Dave's locations. The local restaurant plan, approved by the Cottage Grove City Council in August 2012, included gutting the building interior to allow a 50- to 60-seat dining area while continuing to use the existing drive-thru on the north side of the building.

Also included in the plans is the potential for an outdoor smoker oven to be located on the west side of the building. The restaurant also received a liquor license.

A voicemail message from the restaurant said "things are moving along better now" and an updated opening date is slated for the middle to end of this month. The message also stated that all wait and kitchen staff positions have been filled, but those looking for employment can still submit an application.

The Famous Dave's franchise operates 191 restaurants in 34 states including one Canadian province.