Beast Southern Kitchen & BBQ in Columba, Illinois, will permanently close after lunch service Friday (May 13). Owner David Sandusky announced the closure in a video posted to social media Thursday.
“You know, we’ve worked real hard for this concept,” Sandusky said in the video. “We love this concept, and we love the community. We love Columbia.”
Beast Southern Kitchen & BBQ opened in December 2020 at 1280 Columbia Center as the third Beast concept from Sandusky and his wife, Meggan. The couple debuted the original Beast Craft BBQ Co. in 2014 in Belleville. Beast Butcher & Block followed in 2019 in the Grove in Forest Park Southeast, and there is also now a Beast food truck.
“It’s been tough since the pandemic started,” Sandusky said in the video. “It’s been hell, actually. But, you know, we really tried to push forward, and we know a lot of people wouldn’t have tried to open a restaurant in this environment. But we took the gamble because we believed in ourselves and believed in our staff and our concepts. But it didn’t work out.”
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In addition to serving Beast’s acclaimed barbecue, the Columbia location introduced a menu of fried chicken, shrimp and grits and other Southern fare.
“The concept isn’t dead,” Sandusky tells the Post-Dispatch. “We hope to reopen it somewhere eventually. Some of the items may find their ways to menus at the other locations, but not everything.”
Sandusky says all of the employees of the Columbia restaurant have been offered positions at Beast’s other locations.
Earlier this week, Sandusky announced he will appear on the May 26 episode of “Beat Bobby Flay” on Food Network. The episode airs at 8 p.m. central.
Last year, Sandusky made it to the final round of the Flay-hosted “BBQ Brawl” on Food Network.