Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Local News

January 19, 2014

End of an era

Peterson’s Smokehouse closes doors for good after 26 years

“We were sitting down the other night, looking at all the numbers, and in the past 26 years, we figure we’ve made right at a million sandwiches,” Ruth Peterson said. But the sandwiches she made for her customers at Peterson’s Smokehouse on Friday marked the end of the line.

The restaurant/deli/catering business that opened on South Main in 1987 closed its doors for good, with Ruth and her son Steve getting ready to move on to the next stage in their lives.

Ruth Peterson said when she opened the smokehouse in June 1987, Steve and her other son, Troy, were both in high school, and both worked at the smokehouse with her. Troy graduated from high school, went on to college and then went to work for Kronos iSeries Solutions Group on Nolan River Road. Steve remained at the smokehouse.

But recently, Ruth Peterson said, “Steve got a really good job offer” from Fun Town RV, and together they decided it was time for them both to move on to something new. Shortly after, she said, a potential buyer expressed interest in the smokehouse. She said that the deal isn’t sealed with the potential buyer yet, so she can’t discuss any details. 

Steve Graeve said that if the deal goes through, the location will still be a restaurant, but it won’t be the same kind of restaurant.

“It just all sort of fell into place,” Ruth Peterson said. “Steve’s job offer popped up. Then this buyer popped up. We just feel like the lord’s hand is in it and it is time to move on. I still love what I’m doing here, but it’s just about the timing.”

Ruth Peterson said she’s not sure what she will do now, but that she’s “looking for something part time, something interesting and fun.” She said she figures that when people hear she’s looking for a job, somebody will come looking for her, and whatever comes along, she’s confident she can handle it.

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