Boondocks Grill & Bar Press
New restaurant aims to be anything but typical
Posted Wednesday, November 16, 2016 11:46 am from Clay Today - See Article Here
LAKE ASBURY – Located on Henley Road, Boondocks Grill and Bar looks like nothing else in the area. “A lot of this wood doesn’t grow around here,” said Randy Petty, who owns the new restaurant with his wife Theresa. “We had it brought in from South Carolina. We wanted something unique, with personality.”
The big, rustic building includes multiple types of wood that has been dried and aged, stones, and custom doors shipped from New Mexico. Tree trunks line the entrance. The full-service, wooden bar is hand-carved.
The couple owns a successful ready-mix and concrete-crushing business, but they decided to take on the tall task of starting a restaurant. The opening is planned for early December.
“We had talked about it for years,” said Theresa, who grew up in the Green Cove Springs area. “I was against it, but I finally caved.”
It wasn’t a decision they took lightly. Nearly 23 percent of all restaurants fail in the first year, and 44 percent fail within three years, according to a study commissioned by Restaurant Startup and Growth magazine.
Boondocks sits where Pulcinella’s used to be. The Pettys razed that building and began construction in January. That was after a year of getting permits in order and acquiring a liquor license.
“We’ve put our nest-egg into this,” Theresa said. “We owned a restaurant in Jacksonville – Spanky’s – years ago, and Randy always wanted to get back into it. We really spent a lot of time planning this, trying to account for every detail of the business.”
Walking through the front doors, guests enter a large, stunning space with high ceilings made of insulated tin, antique decorations and wood-crafted booths that each have its own a fireplace. An area near the kitchen is outfitted like an old-time, small-town jail.
The urinals in the men’s room are made of beer-kegs. Another bar area has stools that face each other on each side, encouraging conversation.
“We really wanted this to be a destination in Clay County, where people feel like they’re on vacation for the couple hours that they’re here,” Theresa said. “We shopped for the antiques to give it a 1940s and 50s feel.”
Boondocks offers a Louisiana flavor and will feature live music in the background while people dine. A spacious back patio has four large-screen televisions for sports.
“My biggest thing is bringing people back around the table with good home-cooked food,” Theresa said. “This is a family destination. We really wanted this to be a destination rather than just a restaurant.”
The Pettys already have hired a chef, cooks, bartenders and servers. They emphasized that the live music “won’t be blasted” but will add to the social atmosphere. The menu will include a Cajun flare and will highlight farm-to-table items. It will be a place for customers to get a steak or build their own burgers.
“We view this as an investment, not only financially but for our community,” Randy said. “We wanted to give back and offer the people of this area a special type of place to go, a different kind of experience than they’d normally find.”