BBQ wars end in north Crestview with Possum Ridge closure

Published: Wednesday, December 26, 2012 at 11:40 AM.

Viola Plante, who with her husband, pit master Rick Plante, owned Possum Ridge, told patrons not to give up hope, saying the couple had plans to bring barbecue back to north Crestview.

“We are waiting for a couple things to fall into place,” Viola Plante said. “Just because we’re not in the restaurant or the trailer does not mean grass is growing beneath our feet.”

Possum Ridge got its start in a big, black trailer on North State Road 85. The couple had long wanted a “sit-down” restaurant and jumped at the opportunity when the Gibbonses decided to sell Ms. B’s to devote more time to their family.

While some suggested Johnny O’Quigley’s popularity next door to the barbecue restaurant forced Possum Ridge out of business, former Ms. B’s server Sherrie Stanley, who worked for the Gibbonses at all three of their Crestview locations, said the opposite is true.

“Oh no,” Stanley said. “When O’Quigley’s opened, business became insane. We were getting a lot more business than before. When Tim took a full-time job, it was too much for Belinda to try to run everything herself. She wanted more time with her family and was spending night and day at the restaurant.”

Now, both the Gibbonses and the Plantes are doing occasional barbecue catering. While Viola Plante wouldn’t discuss the reasons for shuttering Possum Ridge, she assured fans of her family’s barbecue that a new chapter is about to begin.

“We’re working it out and we’ll have something to announce after the first of the year,” she said.

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