Woody's Bar-B-Q opened in Dartmouth Crossing in February of this year and already the restaurant has a devoted clientele – devoted enough to earn the newcomer a Burnside Business of the Year Award.
Woody's won the award in the Large Hospitality (with a staff greater than 10) category. Awards were handed out during a special presentation at the Burnside Park Place Ramada in September. The Burnside News runs the award program, which began seven years ago as a way of promoting Park businesses.
Burnies are awarded based on customer voting, which takes place over the summer months. Customers can fill out paper ballots at the place of business or vote online, and this year's voting saw a big increase in online support for customers' favorite businesses.
Woody's co-owner Jim Bethune says winning the Burnie was the result of a lot of hard work on the part of the restaurant's staff of 25 people.
"We actively campaigned for it. We worked hard for it. We were thrilled with the nomination initially and really wanted to win this. We told every customer who came through the doors about the awards program.
"The employees are thrilled that we won, and so am I," he adds.
The family restaurant, located at 159 Hector Gate in Dartmouth Crossing, is the fifth Woody's to open in Canada. The franchise chain began in the United States approximately 30 years ago and only made the move into the Canadian marketplace last year. The 110-seat restaurant features a smoker built in Tennessee that can smoke up to 226 kilograms (500 pounds) of meat at a time and will burn maple logs, which are piled inside the entrance and in the kitchen. Bethune sources the hardwood from East Gore, here in Nova Scotia.
"We're very proud of our product and our service," Bethune says. "It's unique to Burnside."