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MURPHYSBORO — Work being done on a former auto dealership building will transform it into a barbecue sauce production facility with a dining spot in the front.

The work is being done on the former car dealership building by 17th Street Barbecue, whose owners hope to open the new production facility sometime in late fall or early winter of this year, according to Amy Mills. They are planning to open a place where they can produce their own sauces, and those of other sauce makers, moving the work from a production facility in Indiana.

The facility will open at 1614 Walnut St., between 16th and 17th streets, right around the corner from 17th Street Barbecue restaurant, Mills said.

The renovation and restoration is a $1.25 million project that received financing from First Southern Bank, and Space Architecture of St. Louis, is doing the architecture and design work, Mills said. She said when she visited their site in St. Louis, she liked the look and feel of their building on Manchester Street where they're located.

"We’re trying to preserve it and not make it too modern," Mills said. "They will help us preserve it."

Contractors for the project are SLC Construction out of Murphysboro, she said.

"Murphysboro has always been a factory town,” Mills said. "The factories are really long gone now. I think this is a nod to the heritage of the city and a way to bring some sort of manufacturing facility to the area."

"We really want to be part of the change and the growth in town. It would have been very easy to throw up an inexpensive building … but we want to be part of the renovation and restoration in downtown.”

When completed, the new facility will employ about 15 people, some of whom will come from other 17th Street operations, Mills said.


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Stephanie Esters is a reporter covering Jackson and Union counties.

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