Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 19, 2012

By Shavonne Potts
SALISBURY — If you drove to Rick’s Barbecue & Grill on Wednesday thinking of getting barbecue with red slaw, you saw a sign on the door saying the restaurant was closed “for repairs.”
The restaurant on South Main Street wasn’t really closed for repairs, but there was work happening inside, as a crew filmed a campaign ad for Republican gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory.
This is McCrory’s second campaign for governor. He ran unsuccessfully in 2008 against Bev Perdue.
The former Charlotte mayor was not at the Salisbury restaurant Wednesday, but many of his supporters will appear in the commercial, McCrory spokesman Brian Nick said.
The restaurant, which the campaign rented for the day, was chosen for its iconic diner look and North Carolina feel, Nick said, and the city because McCrory has ties to Salisbury as a Catawba College graduate.
“It’s kind of a second home,” Nick said. “Salisbury has a special place in his heart.”
Filming will also take place in the area today, Nick said, but specific locations had not been selected Wednesday.
Nick didn’t say when the commercial is expected to air.
Rick’s owner Rick Foster said he met McCrory several years ago and didn’t mind closing for the day so the governor hopeful could film a campaign spot.
“I’m proud that they chose my location,” he said.
Foster was contacted earlier this week about the possibility of using his restaurant. After a few conversations, he agreed.
Foster believes part of the draw for the location was his extensive NASCAR and sports memorabilia collection throughout the place.
The restaurant’s front windows were covered during filming, but Foster said much of the interior was left as it has always been with the exception of a few signs that were taken down for visibility.
Foster won’t be seen in the commercial, but stayed behind the scenes, he said.
Foster said he had to turn some customers around and explain what was happening Wednesday, while others circled the parking lot and promptly exited.
The restaurant was to reopen at 6 a.m. today.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.