It’s only fitting that a 35-year-old Southern barbecue franchise would want to have a presence in a state that is home to the “BBQ Capital of the World.” That’s why Florida-based Woody’s Bar-B-Q is proud to announce the opening of its newest restaurant in Murfreesboro, Tennessee – marking the national chain’s one and only restaurant in the state. After opening on February 2, proud new operators Lea Keisling and Neil Johnston are excited about the promise that their new restaurant holds.
“I love to cook and have always wanted to own a restaurant,” says Mufreesboro resident, Keisling. “I was really impressed by the story behind Woody’s Bar-B-Q. Even after being in business for three-and-a-half decades, they’re still using many of the same original recipes – some of which came from the kitchen of Woody’s mom. As soon as I tasted the food, I knew I wanted to open a Woody’s Bar-B-Q restaurant of my own. Murfreesboro is a terrific city that has its fair share of restaurants, but what we’ve been lacking is a great place to sit down and enjoy a heaping plate of delicious barbecue and home-style sides. I look forward to Woody’s of Murfreesboro becoming a valued institution in my hometown. We will endeavor to be a family-owned, family-friendly place where the locals know they can come for a good time and a really great meal”
Located at 352 West Northfield Boulevard in the Heritage Square Shopping Center, Woody’s Bar-B-Q of Murfreesboro is well-positioned within a two-mile radius of the Alvin C. York VA Medical Center and Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). Boasting an enrollment of more than 20,000, Keisling believes MTSU students will be drawn to the delicious food, home-like atmosphere and reasonable prices of Woody’s Bar-B-Q. In addition to a menu that includes signature items such as Smokin’ Spare Ribs, Grilled Prime Rib, and the chain’s famous Banana Pudding, Woody’s of Murfreesboro serves a selection of ice cold draft and bottled beers. On Monday evenings, the restaurant features a Kids Eat Free all-day special for children 10 and under with the purchase of an adult entrée. Beginning March 7, it will also boast a Trivia Night every Wednesday at 7 p.m. The restaurant offers a 10 percent discount for senior citizens and EMTs, as well as a 15 percent discount for uniformed officers.
“We’re excited to introduce Woody’s Bar-B-Q to the residents of Murfreesboro,” says Yolanda Mills-Mawman, co-founder of the authentic Southern barbecue chain. “Whereas they may be intimately familiar with a certain Tennessee flavor of barbecue – such as dry rub ribs and chopped pork on a bun – we’re going to give them a taste of something new. Woody’s serves as an excellent representation of a number of barbecue styles from all across the South – like our Texas Beef Brisket or Carolina Pulled Pork. Lea and Neil are the ideal operators to kick off our initial surge into Tennessee. We are also eyeing potential future sites in Spring Hill, Mount Juliet and Cookeville – and welcome calls from prospective franchisees in Middle Tennessee and the Upper Cumberland.”
A major key to the success of a Woody’s Bar-B-Q restaurant is the owner-operator model. Patrons can expect to find Keisling and Johnston at Woody’s Bar-B-Q of Murfreesboro full-time. Even Keisling’s 12-year-old son, Michael, will be a regular fixture at the Murfreesboro’s newest restaurant. Woody’s of Murfreesboro is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.