ELIZABETHTOWN — Wanda Thomas has turned her dream into a reality, re-opening Woody’s Grill on Hwy. 701 North between White Lake and Elizabethtown last week.
“I cook all the time, and don’t get paid for it,” Thomas said. “All the kids come and eat, I like to cook, and I like people, so I figured it was a good combination.”
Woody’s Grill has been a staple in the community for years. Its last inspection was, according to a notice on the wall, two years ago. However, Thomas said she thought it had been operated in the interim.
Thomas acquired the site in April, and started — well, actually, finished — some renovations.
“The previous (tenants) had started some projects, like a corner area for coffee, and just left it,” Thomas said. “We just finished what they started.
“People say it looks better than it ever has,” she added.
Not only did she make changes to the decor, but she also came up with a completely new menu. The restaurant now features a main dish, such as hamburger steaks, chicken pastry, or meatloaf, and two vegetables, such as snap beans or potato salad. Tea or lemonade included, the special runs for $4.99.
“We get a lot of compliments on the potato salad, chicken salad and slaw,” Thomas stated.
A breakfast special, such as bacon, grits, eggs, and toast, costs $3.99, and Thomas reported that her goal is to keep prices low.
“We get a lot of elderly people coming in,” she said. “We need to make enough to survive, but we want to keep prices fair.”
The diner also features a Friday night fish special, something that Thomas said was lacking in the area and that has received good support.
Though the venture is entirely new to Thomas, she does have experience in food preparation, running a concession stand and working in food service at a barbecue restaurant in Roseboro.
Woody’s Grill will be, for now, open for breakfast and lunch Monday through Thursday and on Sunday, and will be open for breakfast, lunch and supper Friday and Saturday.
“That’s our goal right now,” Thomas said, “but if people come in at 10 minutes until two for lunch (on a weekday), we’re not going to turn them away. We’re kind of playing it out right now.”
The grill will also offer catering for small groups.
“We’re just plain ol’ people,” said Thomas. “People can come as they are, eat like they want to, whenever they want to, and whatever they want, I can fix it like they want.
“We’re nice to people, we’re fast, and we’re cheaper than a lot of places I’ve seen,” she added. “Every day just gets better and better and better.”
Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.