Willie Jewell’s Old School Bar-B-Q, the fast-casual spinoff from the 67-year veteran Bono’s Pit Bar-B-Q concept, is poised for expansion. Willie Jewell’s will be opening its newest location in Augusta, Georgia, on February 2. This will be the fifth location in the growing concept, which will now have restaurants in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. In addition, multiunit deals have been signed with groups for the Atlanta, Georgia, and Manchester, New Hampshire, markets.
Willie Jewell’s Old School Bar-B-Q was created by Joe Adeeb and Josh Martino, CEO and president, respectively, of Bono’s and Willie Jewell’s. The fast-casual concept has a smaller footprint and a less expensive check average, but will still smoke all of its barbecue the old-fashioned way—the low and slow method that has made Bono’s a Jacksonville favorite since 1949 and now Willie Jewell’s since 2009. Adeeb and Martino were looking for an opportunity to enter the rapidly growing fast-casual market as well as a less expensive franchise package for potential franchisees and area developers.
It turns out that Willie Jewell Daniels was a real person and someone that made a big impact in Adeeb’s life. Adeeb’s grandfather rescued Daniels from the streets of Jacksonville when she was only a teen. She went to work in their family restaurant and quickly proved that she could cook almost anything. Adeeb attributes ninety-five percent of his cooking knowledge to Willie Jewell and says, “Not only was Willie Jewell an incredible cook, she was an incredible person.” He cherishes the things that she taught him about cooking, but more importantly the things she taught him about life.