Barbecue restaurant set to open this month

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 9, 2013

“City slick meets country girl” is how Pappy Joe’s Bar-B-Que owners describe their new Gantt restaurant, and beginning Feb. 26, residents will get their first taste of what Joe Garner and Sandy Findley hope will become a Covington County staple.

The couple, who also operate a Montgomery restaurant by the same name, is in current negotiations to purchase the former Green’s BBQ location on U.S. Hwy. 29. They have worked the last two months cleaning and polishing.

“What we’re going to offer is a different tasting barbecue,” Garner said. “It’s marinated in my own special sauce and then steamed cooked to perfection. Those ribs, they are truly an amazing experience to eat.

“Our ribs are the best, and we’ve got a barbecue sauce that will knock you down,” he said.

Meats are cooked in an enclosed rotisserie to lock in flavor and moistness.

Garner – self-proclaimed cook and chief bottle washer – said the family-friendly environment will not lose any of the “Green’s BBQ charm,” but patrons will notice a few changes. Servers will now man the daily buffet line. A new salad and dessert bar will make its debut, and inside the newly equipped kitchen, complete with exhaust system, is all new cooking equipment.

The couple plans to employ at least three servers, one cook assistant and two dishwashers – “and more, if the business supports it, which we hope it does,” Garner said.

The couple said they became interested in the restaurant when Findley, an Andalusia native, decided to “come back home.” They went so far as to enter negotiations with the former owners of Country Folks Buffet in Florala, but the owner accepted a previous offer.

That’s when the Lord led them in a different direction – up U.S. Hwy. 29 to be exact, they said.

“We’d seen the place when we’d come to the area to sing,” Findley said. They are members of the Unity Southern Gospel group. “We’d heard people talk about how long it’d been here. One day, we happened to meet (Green’s owner) Diane (Green), who said she was ready to retire.

“That day, coming back from Florala, that’s when we made our decision,” Findley said.

Garner said they made Green a promise to continue with the tradition of good food in Gantt.

“I know our taste is going to be a little different, but I promise it’s good food,” Garner said. “And I promise you won’t leave here hungry.”

Country-style breakfast will be offered from 6 a.m. until 9 a.m.; lunch from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. and then dinner until 9 p.m.

For lunch, one meat and all-you-can eat vegetables and salad is $6.99. Selections will include pulled pork or ribs and one other meat. Nightly specials will change and range from AYCE ribs, pulled pork, catfish and other “home cooking.”