Indulge your taste for southern barbecue

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By Crystal Fogarty

Jim Bethune and Eric Swain have opened Halifax's first Woody's Bar-B-Q franchise

Jim Bethune and Eric Swain recently took their love of southern barbecue to a whole new level when they opened their own Woody's Bar-B-Q franchise.

Two local hospitality professionals, Jim Bethune and Eric Swain, recently took their love of southern barbecue to a whole new level. The two opened the doors to their Woody's Bar-B-Q franchise on Feb. 20 to a very excited public.

"There has been a lot of excitement about the restaurant that we didn't necessarily expect," Swain says. "People here love barbecue; when you say barbecue, they're like... ‘Southern barbecue!?' When they go south to the States they enjoy the barbecue there and now there's an opportunity to come here and get it as well."

The public is so excited about the restaurant that when some of the flyers went out too early, staff had to turn away more than 100 people on the Friday before opening.

The franchise, which originated in Jacksonville, Florida, currently has more than 30 franchises throughout the southern States. The Dartmouth Crossing location is only the fifth to open in Canada so far.

"Right now there is one in Ontario, three in British Columbia and us, with about five or six more slated to open within the year throughout Canada," Swain says.

The food is authentic southern smoked barbecue, which includes southern favourites such as pulled pork and beef brisket. There's a meat smoker in the kitchen that can smoke more than 500 pounds of meat at the same time. It's smoked slowly - beef brisket takes up to 10 hours to cook, which makes it nice and tender.

"I barbecue a lot at home, but at home and the way we do it here are totally different," Bethune says. "It's all about cooking slow and infusing that wood smoke, which you don't do at home. It's comfort food and the taste the smoke brings out is unique. You can't get that smoky flavour taste anywhere else."

It was a year-long process for the two to get the restaurant set up, but they're quite impressed with how it has turned out.

"We choose the best spot in HRM to open a restaurant," Swain says. "We're still working out the kinks in distribution so we can get in some of the staple southern items, such as grits and collard greens. I don't think there's any other place in the city where you can get deep fried corn nuggets and dill pickles."


Organizations: Woody's

Geographic location: Canada, Jacksonville, Florida, Southern States Ontario British Columbia HRM

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Recent comments

  • just me
    April 04, 2012 - 15:24

    not too expensive I'd say but certainly not cheap either. Where it's a chain prices vary. If I recall, brisket dinner and dessert/tea was about 20?

  • Emily
    April 04, 2012 - 13:33

    They are expensive. Portions are super small too. I think I paid somewhere around $20.00 for brisket and ribs. Brisket was a little dry. Sides were fantastic though.

    • Jim Bethune
      April 04, 2012 - 16:38

      Brisket Dinner: $13.99. Brisket and Baby Back Ribs: $19.99

  • Javier Espinoza
    April 04, 2012 - 12:29

    Hi A.H. Due to the price difference in all the provinces, we don't provide the prices on the site, but we do have a link that will allow you to download a menu specific to your location. Here's the link - - I hope this was helpful.

  • A H Gladwin
    March 27, 2012 - 14:03

    There are no prices shown on their online menu. Well I live a distance from the restaurant and I don't intend to drive there to see the prices on the menu. No prices says very expensive to me! It looks like a good chain.

    • Elizabeth
      April 04, 2012 - 13:31

      There are prices if you chose your location (once you choose a category, ex lunch), Dartmouth Crossing, then a pdf version of their take out menu loads You could always call them and they can answer any price questions that you have too.