Placing restaurant’s smoker out front generates heat for owner


Wright Choice Soul Food’s smoker, seen in this February photo, once served as a landmark for the restaurant. Since then, city officials required owner Albert Wright to move it behind the establishment.

MATTHEW BROWN / News Bulletin
Published: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 at 01:13 PM.

CRESTVIEW — A Main Street restaurant’s landmark barbecue smoker has generated some heat for its owner and chef.

Wright Choice Soul Food opened in late 2013 in a site vacated by Country Chicken and Fish. The location is across the street from the county courthouse.

Fans of owner and chef Albert Wright’s down-home cooking and barbecue were drawn by the aroma wafting from the smoker in a parking spot out front. It quickly became a landmark for directions to the eatery.

“Everybody smells this aroma and knows it’s lunchtime,” said attorney Dixie Dan Powell, whose practice is on the same block.

Wright said when he opened the restaurant, he sought and received permission from city officials to put the cooker out front.

“Then all of a sudden he was requested to remove his grill,” Powell, representing Wright, recently said while addressing the City Council.

Wright moved the grill to the back of the building, but with it went his major attraction.

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