0915 Judge's

Pictured is the Judge's Riverside BBQ restaurant building at 128 Greenlee Ford Road along the Catawba River in Morganton.

One local restaurant’s major construction project has been delayed from next month until next year.

A rebuild of Judge’s Riverside BBQ, originally scheduled for October, has been moved to early 2020. The restaurant announced the delay of the project on its Facebook page on Thursday.

“Many of you have been asking about our upcoming renovation to Judge's, so we wanted to give you a quick update,” the post read. “Our rebuild has been moved from October of this year and is slated to begin sometime in the early part of 2020. That gives you more time to come and visit us for great food in a relaxing atmosphere.”

Several folks who replied to the Facebook post were excited to see the popular eatery will be open for a while longer before the temporary closure.

“Great. I am from Burke County. I had a friend traveling, she called me to find a place to eat and I sent her to Judge's. She brought me some chips!” wrote Janice Poteet Wade.

“Love that place,” added Teresa Hilton.

The restaurant’s manager told The News Herald in January that Judge’s had decided for a rebuild over a remodel of the building, located at 128 Greenlee Ford Road along the Catawba River in Morganton. The manager, Brian Miller, said at that time that it was determined that the restaurant, owned by Fulenwider Enterprises, would have better cost-effectiveness to build anew rather than refurbish.

The rebuild usurped a remodeling plan that would have seen Judge’s closed this past January, February and March.

Miller said in January that he believed that the new building would be a big plus for both Judge’s customers and its staff.

“I think it will be amazing,” Miller said. “To be honest, I think we have the best location in Burke County for a restaurant, by far. With the new design, more outdoor seating and the new layout of the restaurant, we’re just now getting ready to start drawing it out with architects.

“We’re really in the beginning stages of getting to the next level.”

According to information on the restaurant’s website, the concept for Judge’s Riverside BBQ has its roots with the Fulenwider family in the early 1980s. The restaurant opened on Feb. 7, 1986, and added an upper dining room, bar and deck in 1990. An outside shed was added in 2003 for entertainment, catering, fundraisers and weddings.

The restaurant temporarily closed on Sept. 7, 2004, because of severe hurricane flooding that left the building mostly underwater. It reopened on Feb. 14, 2006, and has remained in business ever since.

Before Judge’s opened, the location was the site of the former Riverside Fish Camp.

In addition to its signature barbecue, Judge’s menu is well-known for smoked chicken, steak, fish, hamburgers, sandwiches, pasta and more.

For more information about the restaurant, visit judgesriverside.com or call 828-433-5798.

Justin Epley can be reached at jepley@morganton.com or 828-432-8943.

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