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It’s so close, you can almost smell the smoke and taste the brisket.

Fans of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que will be one step closer to having a Buffalo location of their very own as the company begins a hiring surge here Saturday.

The Syracuse-based chain will begin accepting applications that day at the Bucking Buffalo, 294 Franklin St., and will take applications there from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Within an hour of the job announcement being posted to the company’s Facebook site, it had 10,000 views.

“People have been asking about jobs since August,” said Bob Baker, a spokesman for Dinosaur Bar-B-Que.

The Southern-style barbecue restaurant and biker bar is scheduled to open in February at 301 Franklin, south of West Tupper Street. The opening has been delayed several times, something the company blamed on unexpected construction delays.

In removing the facade of the building, for example, workers uncovered a bas-relief globe adorning the front.

“What are we going to do? Get rid of it? No way. It’s too cool. And Dinosaur is all about the cool,” Baker said.

Workers took time incorporating that and other discoveries into the restaurant’s design.

Construction is humming along now. A 1,200-square-foot addition, which will hold coolers and office space, has been added to the 6,000-square-foot building. The all-important smokers have been installed. Workers are busy installing tile, then will get to work creating a custom-built bar that will incorporate reclaimed barn wood, a vintage bar top and stained-glass blocks from the building’s windows. It will be worth the wait for the wildly popular restaurant’s salivating fans, many of whom have driven to Rochester solely to dine at the restaurant.

“When I walk out at the end of the day and I’m wearing a Dino shirt, people just start swarming me, asking ‘When is Dinosaur Bar-B-Que opening?’ ” said Rob Rush, the Buffalo store’s manager. “I’ve actually had people squeak at me they’re so excited.”

Special Buffalo-specific recipes are being created for the local menu, but Rush is tight-lipped about what they might be. “John Stage is so creative in the kitchen,” Rush said of the company’s founder and CEO. “He can take a traditional dish and just put that Dinosaur twist on it and incorporate the local demographic and it becomes something delicious and amazing.” Stage established Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Syracuse in 1988. For five years before that, he sold his food at motorcycle shows around the country from makeshift barbecues he made out of 55-gallon drums. Today, billionaire investor George Soros’ investment company owns a 70 percent stake in the company.

email: schristmann@buffnews.com