UNION GAP, Wash. — Famous Dave’s, the Minneapolis-based barbecue restaurant chain, revealed it will open its new location at 1504 E. Washington Ave. on Labor Day, Sept. 2.

The restaurant has been in construction for several months at Washington Plaza in a space located in front of J.C. Penney.

The announcement comes a week after the nearby, locally-owned barbecue restaurant, The Rib Shack, announced its permanent closure.

Previously, the closest Famous Dave’s was in Kennewick. Though the restaurant hasn’t officially opened yet, some local diners have had a taste of the restaurant’s offerings via its catering truck.

Speaking of J.C. Penney, the retail industry is buzzing about Bill Ackman’s recent resignation from the J.C. Penney Co. Inc. board. The departure came after Ackman demanded the ouster of interim CEO Myron Ullman and chairman Thomas Engibous.

The remaining board members — along with other industry executives — support the leadership of Ullman and Engibous. And some believe this board shakeup may be necessary to allow management to focus on restoring the store’s brand.

Locally, shoppers are already seeing many changes. During a recent shopping trip, I noticed that the J.C. Penney store had a whole lot more inventory. And coupons and discounts were back too.

In a column earlier this year, I wrote about some local shoppers’ concern about the store’s “cold” modern design and lack of product selection.

The store clerks clearly felt that concern. “We have new inventory coming in all the time,” one clerk told me proudly.

Do you think J.C. Penney will emerge from its struggles? Let me know in the comments.