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COLUMBIA - For Phillip Peters, barbecue is in his blood.

"I used to accompany my dad on fish fries as a kid in Florida, and he would often hold barbecues with up to 2,000 thousand people," Peters said.

That's why he named his locally known barbecue, Shotgun Pete's, after his father who helped him open the business in 2010, in the parking lot of Firestone Tires on Business Loop 70.

Peters said the shack only allowed drive through and carry-out orders for their customers, and the business could only fit two people inside the shack.

"With an eight by 16 building, when there's a bathroom in there, and ovens, coolers, cash register, sink, there's just not a lot of room for people," Peters said.

In August, Peters closed the business on Business Loop and took two weeks to move all of his equipment to his new location on Ninth Street, moving into where the Ninth Street Deli used to be. He said relocating downtown has definitely been advantageous for both his business and the customers he serves.

"We have a lot of loyal, regular customers, and we came to find out that the majority of them were actually coming from downtown Columbia to the loop, so they were happy in that we moved here, because now, most of our loyal customers can just walk to us," Peters said. 

But despite the increase in traffic as well as the increase in space, Peters said he isn't looking to hire any additional help.

"I, I tend to micromanage everything and I do all the work myself, so I kinda...I'm real hesitant to have a big crew because then you lose sight of what's important, and that's the quality of your service, and the quality of your food," Peters said.

Even his son, Nick Peters, agrees that a smaller crew equals a better experience."When you have customers that walk in and have never been here, or even ones that are regulars, they kind of get a sense of welcome-ness when they walk in the door because it's, you know, a small-town feeling, even though Columbia is not a small, small town," Peters said.

He also said he believes the larger the establishment, the more distant the workers become to their customers.

"I believe the larger an establishment, sometimes, it feels a little cold and impersonal when you walk in. Like you're just...you know, a check. At the end of the day, it's just collect the money and see you later, see you next time," Peters said.

He told KOMU 8 News he has received phone calls from people asking if Shotgun Pete's is hiring. His father said he did have to take certain items off of their menu when they moved to Ninth Street, but he said that was because he wanted to create an authentic barbecue feel to the restaurant by just including strictly barbecued foods.

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