AUDUBON — Another South Jersey restaurant is shuttering its doors and blaming a combination of the COVID-19 pandemic, price increases across the board, meat shortages, and labor challenges.

Smoke BBQ, 34 W. Merchant St. in Audubon, opened five years ago to bring fresh daily BBQ to the people of South Jersey, according to its Facebook page.

But due to the challenges mentioned above, Smoke BBQ will close, effective Sunday, Nov. 20.

“We will do our best to maintain our full menu, but ultimately will need to deplete our existing inventory. If you are holding gift cards or stockpiling rewards points, we encourage you to come in and redeem them,” the post read.

Smoke BBQ was inspired by roadside shacks and eateries often seen scattered across the Southeast and Texas, according to the website.

All the meats are smoked fresh daily and, because of this, one or several items of meat would sell out each day. The meats are served dry so guests can dress them up with any sauce they wish.

The place is so popular, that folks have been driving up from as far south as Virginia and as far north as Connecticut to get one last barbecue meal in before the closure, Smoke BBQ said on Facebook.

The owners said they plan to look for a new location to call home, and all unused gift cards and loyalty rewards will be honored there.

“Please watch our Facebook page for updates. We would like to extend our gratitude to all of you who have joined us over the years,” they said.

Jen Ursillo is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at jennifer.ursillo@townsquaremedia.com

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