LEXINGTON, N.C. (WGHP) — Construction is to blame for a popular Lexington restaurant closing its doors.

Smiley’s Lexington BBQ announced on Facebook it will shut down the business in a few weeks.

This is all because Winston Road is being widened.

Customer Bobby Morgan has been sounding the horn for service for the last 30 years at his favorite restaurant Smiley’s Lexington BBQ.

“I come here about three to four times a week. You can’t ask for better people here,” Morgan said.

He was sad to see the announcement on Facebook Wednesday afternoon saying after 20 years, the restaurant is closing its doors because of the Winston Road expansion.

“I’m 75, and when you’re used to eating at a certain place, it hurts to see it close,” Morgan said.

The project has been in talks for about four years. The proposed roadway will have two lanes in each direction, a bike lane and sidewalks along both sides of the road.

The goal is to lessen congestion in the area and improve safety along the corridor. Although owner Steve Yountz knew this day was coming, it’s still not easy to leave

“They just finalized the deal with the DOT yesterday. I felt I needed to go ahead and reach out to the public about our plans here and the short amount of time we have left to operate,” Yountz said.

Customers and restaurant employees will see the red open sign for a few more weeks before the business is gone. Yountz worries about the future.

“I still have to work…and right now there is no definite plans on relocating as far as availably and affordability,” Yountz said.

“I have been waiting about four to five years trying to get ready for this,” said Bruce Hayes owner of Hayes Jewelers.

Next door, Hayes is planning his business next move.

“I live in this store, too…so it’s taking my home and business away. I have to build a new store and place to live, too,” he said.

He plans to rebuild a new business nearby.

“Looking to build later this year,” he said. “We’ll have a bigger, nicer store.”

A spokesperson with the Department of Transportation tells FOX8 construction is expected to begin July 2023.

We also reached out to Speedy’s BBQ, the third business affected by the construction.

The owner says they plan to rebuild and relocate, but that all depends on the compensation they will get from DOT.

Owners at Smiley’s Lexington BBQ plan to close their doors on Feb. 26.