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By Erin Smith

Bladen County is saying goodbye to an iconic restaurant building. Demolition work has begun on the former Cape Fear Bar-B-Que and Chicken restaurant, but what exactly will take its place remains a mystery.

Before it served as Cape Fear Bar-B-Que and Chicken, it was the site of the very first Hardee’s restaurant to serve Bladen County. According to Clark Brothers officials the building was constructed in 1974 specifically for Hardee’s. After Hardee’s left Elizabethtown, the building housed several other restaurants including an Andy’s Restaurant, a Chinese restaurant, and Cape Fear Bar-B-Que and Chicken was its final tenant.

Clark Brothers owns the property located at 330 S. Poplar Street in Elizabethtown. Company officials said on Wednesday that no lease agreements have been signed with anyone.

“The building was old. We decided to tear it down and we have several other prospects for restaurants but have dealt with no one,” said a Clark Brothers’ official.

Cape Fear Bar-B-Que and Chicken moved out in December when their lease agreement expired.

Clark Brothers company officials said the building will be completely torn down and a new facility will eventually take its place.