A barbecue restaurant chain that originated in Jacksonville, Fla. nearly 35 years ago is coming to Red Deer.
Woody’s Bar-B-Q is scheduled to open in Quality Inn North Hill, at 7150 Gaetz Ave., on Oct. 6. It will occupy the premises currently used by Ashley’s Grill.
Jeannot Lamarre, director of marketing with Woody’s Bar-B-Q Canada Corp., said Red Deer will be the company’s fifth location in Alberta. It also has two restaurants in Nova Scotia and one in Saskatchewan.
The owner of the Red Deer franchise will be C.V. Sastry, who has worked in the hospitality industry for a number of years, including as general manager at a national restaurant in Red Deer and assistant general manager at a major hotel in the city.
Woody’s Bar-B-Q was founded in 1980 by Woody and Yolanda Mills. Dan Masters, president of Woody’s Bar-B-Q Canada Corp., brought the restaurant to this country in 2007.
“Woody’s is the only national southern barbecue chain in Canada,” he said. “This is real southern barbecue slowly smoked using traditional methods.”
Lamarre said the company plans to “ramp up” its expansion campaign in Canada.
Sastry thinks the restaurant will do well in Red Deer.
He also thinks the north end of the city is a good location, noting that there is a great deal of new residential development there but fewer restaurants than in South Red Deer.
“I think this is going to be one of the better places to be.”
Woody’s Bar-B-Q will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner items, with dine-in and take-out service.
Sastry said it will also cater banquets at Quality Inn North Hill, and provide food for the hotel’s bar and lounge.
Ashley’s will close on Sept. 28, with renovations to take place thereafter, he said.