Kerch's to close, at least for now

September 16, 2004|by JULIE E. GREENE

Kerch's Southern BBQ is closing and the building is coming down, but operator James Kercheval says the eatery might reopen at a new location.

"If you ask me right now, I expect to reopen," Kercheval said Wednesday.

Kercheval said he got a good offer for the roughly 1/2-acre property at 13420 Pennsylvania Ave. in August and had to make a quick decision about whether to sell. The restaurant has been at that spot since August 1990.

The restaurant has catering obligations so he said he expects Kerch's won't close until the first or second week in October.

Most of Kerch's business is from May through September so Kercheval said he will use the off-season to decide how he wants to reopen the business. This includes how much retail and catering business Kerch's would do and whether to make the restaurant bigger or smaller.


Kercheval would not say what the property's next owner plans to do with the land except to say the restaurant would be torn down to make way for another business.

Kercheval, who also is a Washington County commissioner, owns Kerch's with his parents.

The restaurant north of Hagerstown has been a popular eatery with its vinegar-based barbecue sauce. Two catering vans are decorated as a pig and a cow.

Kercheval said he told the approximately 15 employees about his decision about a week ago. He said he will help them find jobs.

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