Golden Palace building returning to its smoky roots

Golden Palace building returning to its smoky roots

November 16th, 2011 in Local Regional News

The log structure at 2102 Taft Hwy. which for many years has sent out scents of sweet and sour chicken and mu shu pork from the Golden Palace Chinese restaurant there is returning to its culinary roots. Built in 1990, the 2,684-square-foot building which housed Waycrazy's Barbecue in the early 1990s will once again be serving pulled pork, smoked chicken and saucy ribs as Poppy's Smokehouse moves in.

Poppy's Smokehouse owner David Soloff III is moving his barbecue restaurant from its mobile kitchen into the log building which housed Waycrazy's Barbecue in the early 1990s and Chinese restaurant Golden Palace since 1995.

Photo by Emily Crisman

Signal Mountain resident David Soloff III opened Poppy's as a mobile kitchen at 3901 Taft Hwy. in July with the intention of eventually moving to a conventional brick-and-mortar location once he found the ideal spot.

"Our business has just taken off there, and we've really outgrown our mobile kitchen when there's pretty weather," he said of the former location, adding that business suffered on not-so-sunny days when customers had nowhere to sit and enjoy their food.

After toying with the idea of moving the mobile kitchen to the center of town, which was nixed by a vote of the Signal Mountain Town Council, he came back to his original plan of following in the footsteps of his favorite Signal Mountain barbecue establishment.

Soloff said he is already beginning to move the restaurant into its new home, which seats 60-70 and should be open just after Thanksgiving.

Poppy's will feature old photographs of Soloff's grandfather, the restaurant's namesake whose skills at the barbecue pit also inspired the restaurant's fare.

Building owner Lynn Sexton, who opened Lynn's Market next door in the early '70s, said she is excited to have another barbecue restaurant in the building.

"I've known David since he was a kid, and I knew his grandfather Poppy," said Sexton, who remembers eating his barbecue at the Red Fez Club with her husband Jack, a Shriner.

Poppy's will be adding items to its menu, such as salads topped with chicken tenders or pork, as well as expanded offerings for kids.