Bus terminal, gas station, and now, barbecue joint. The little building at the corner of South Park Avenue and West 2nd Street in downtown Sanford has served many purposes over the years.

Until recently, it sat empty for what seems like forever.

After an extensive restoration, it opened as Fuel BBQ in spring 2016. This fast-casual concept from the owners of The Alley, an adjoining bar next door, has really caught on with locals. It’s the first restaurant dedicated to barbecue in the downtown area.

There’s a cozy dining room with exposed brick walls and a handful of tables. Large windows provide views of the spacious outdoor terrace where community picnic tables are popular on busier nights. Stringed market lights were recently added to give the space extra ambiance.

Customers also have the option to take their meals next door to The Alley via a cut-through in the dining room. So while Fuel looks small at first glance, you’ll definitely be able to find a seat in this multi-purpose venue.

While the space is fantastic, the food at Fuel is even better. Meats include beef brisket, pulled pork, pulled chicken and St. Louis-style ribs. Sides run the gamut from fried okra, cole slaw and green beans to french fries, smoked mac-n-cheese, housemade chips and the oh-so-delicious corn bread.