May 08, 2013 // Franchising.com // Jacksonville, Florida – On Monday, April 15, owner Lonnie Dean and general manager Tyler Sylvester opened the doors to a brand new Woody’s Bar-B-Q restaurant in the Argyle-Oakleaf community of Jacksonville, Florida and were met with an unexpected barrage of eager and hungry fans. The favorable response exceeded their expectations and has remained steadily high ever since day one, affirming Dean’s decision to enter into this exciting new venture with eight members of his family on staff – including brother- in-law and seasoned Woody’s Bar-B-Q buff, Sylvester. As a matter of fact, family is not only the glue that binds this operation together; it is the spirit at the very heart of Woody’s of Argyle.
Although he has never owned or worked in a restaurant, Dean has founded and operated a slew of successful businesses since the age of 18. With 30 years of business acumen to his credit, he was intrigued when approached by his wife’s brother with the idea of opening a restaurant in their hometown of Jacksonville. In contrast to Dean, Sylvester virtually grew up in the restaurant business. He got his start in the trenches of a local restaurant at 16 and worked his way up through the ranks to General Manager, most recently of another Woody’s Bar-B-Q location. Sylvester was so impressed with the Woody’s concept and product that he felt it would prove a great fit for Dean.
“I’m a long-time fan of Woody’s Bar-B-Q,” explains Dean. “Growing up, my family lived three blocks from the original restaurant in Jacksonville. We ate there several times a week and the food is always fabulous. From a business perspective, I like the well-structured franchise system that Woody’s has put in place and really appreciate the fact that they are truly a phone call away if I ever have a question. During our initial meeting, I felt a very personal connection to Woody’s founder, Woody Mills. I am so inspired by the fact that his company began as a family business, too – founded from recipes from his mom’s kitchen. Tyler found an instant rapport with Woody’s co-founder, Yolanda Mills-Mawman, who is always great at giving pep talks and extremely supportive of our efforts.”
In addition to being a well-respected business man, Dean is also known around town as the quintessential family man – thanks to a brood that includes his wife, Tera and five children. He strives to make Woody’s Bar- B-Q of Argyle a family-friendly destination with the incorporation of special touches such as a game room, jukebox, and 13 TVs throughout the restaurant – including a number that are located right inside the boothsso children can watch their favorite shows while enjoying items from the kids menu and their parents can wind down from their day while carrying on a conversation over dinner. Parents appreciate the fact that Woody’s of Argyle hosts Kids Eat Free Night on Mondays (from 3 p.m. to close for kids 10 and under with purchase of an adult entrée). Dean plans to turn Mondays into a regular party with the introduction of a friendly face-painting clown. Local grown-ups and sports fans welcome the fact that Woody’s multiple TVs and beer & wine bar make this newest addition to Jacksonville’s Westside a great place to go on game day.
“I wanted to create an environment where I would want to bring my own kids,” says Dean. “In addition to being the only barbecue joint in the Argyle-Oakleaf area, we’re also one of the only family-focused restaurants. This isn’t ‘fast food’ and we aren’t in business to turn tables at a rapid pace; instead we invite our guests to sit back, relax and enjoy a great meal. 100% satisfaction is my goal. Tyler is the backbone of this business – he is the one who visits the tables to make sure everyone feels welcome and is enjoying their dinner. He also makes certain we have a great staff in place. Beyond family members, we have a number of seasoned foodservice veterans on staff who help make for a talented and superb team. Assistant Managers Tim Vinson and Shontez Leonard bring a wealth of experience with them and serve as an excellent support system for Tyler, me and the rest of the Woody’s of Argyle team.”
True locals to the Argyle area – Sylvester lives within a 10 minute walk and Dean lives within a 10 minute drive of their new restaurant, located at 8540 Argyle Forest Blvd. Woody’s of Argyle is already invested in its community with sponsorships in place for the Oakleaf and Argyle Athletic Associations, as well as the local competitive swim team – The Argyle Waves. This newest addition to Argyle’s restaurant scene is also affiliated with Mary, Queen of Heaven Catholic Church.
Family atmosphere, excellent staff and community involvement aside, Dean also can’t say enough about the food they serve at Woody’s of Argyle. Chicken, Briskets, Pulled Pork, Signature Baby Back Ribs and more are smoked fresh daily, and comfort food sides such as pies, barbecue beans and cole slaw are prepared from scratch every morning. Besides dine-in, Woody’s of Argyle also offers take out for busy families; to go orders are available by calling (904) 772-7675. Operating hours at Woody’s of Argyle are Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Plans are underway for a Grand Opening Event during Summer 2013. To view Woody’s Bar-B-Q menu online, hungry Argyle inhabitants are encouraged to visit http://www.woodys.com.
After opening their first Woody’s Bar-B-Q in 1980, partners Woody Mills and Yolanda Mills-Mawman have spent the past three decades setting the “bar” higher for great Southern Bar-B- Q. From the humble beginnings of just one location in Jacksonville, Florida, a shared passion for Bar-B-Q, and a dog-eared collection of recipes, Mills and Mawman have grown the Woody’s Bar-B-Q brand to locations reaching from the Deep South where Bar-B-Q is king to the Northeast and Western fronts. Perhaps best known for their legendary melt-in-your-mouth slow-smoked Signature Baby Back Ribs, Woody’s has also built quite a following among patrons with their secret recipe Bar-B-Q sauces and meats, as well as their freshly prepared side dishes. For more information and a list of locations, visit http://www.woodys.com. To learn more about becoming a Woody’s Bar-B-Q franchisee, visit http://www.woodys.com/franchise/.
SOURCE Woody’s Bar-B-Q
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