Big Daddy's BBQ re-opens in Warrior

By Melanie Posey

WARRIOR (WBRC) - A steady stream of customers continuously flowed in the front doors of Big Daddy's Bar-B-Q restaurant in Warrior Friday afternoon.

Orders for ribs, baked beans and even fried okra came from every corner of the small smoke house's building.  The entire town of Warrior knew that Big Daddy's was back open for business.

"It's just been so good to come back," Shandi Woodard said with a big smile on her face.  "I see all my regulars and surprisingly, I remember names."

It was six months ago on May 25, that Paul "Big Daddy" Woodard's restaurant caught fire. His daughter and the restaurant's assistant manager, Shandi, remembers that when the lights started to flicker. She started toward the back of the building to find out what was wrong.

"And all of a sudden I just saw black smoke pouring from the back and the next thing I knew, they were telling me it was a fire and get everybody out,"  Woodard recalls.

There were a total of five customers and staff members inside at the time. Everyone got out okay, but the business' smoke room and prep room were destroyed along with all the cooking utensils. It took almost seven months to rebuild and this week Big Daddy's finally reopened.

"I'm really happy they're back open," said Brandon Butts as he feasted on his customary pork plate.  His family had come back to the restaurant every day since it reopened. "I feel like it's home....a second home," he said surrounded by his smiling family.

But it wasn't just the regulars checking Big Daddy's out. Richard Barrow and his wife, Sylvia, were just passing through the area when they decided to stop.

"We had heard about the fire. We'd heard about their ribs. We wanted to come try the ribs," Richard Barrow said.

Before the fire, Big Daddy's ribs were deemed the "Best in Birmingham" in 2008 and 2009 by the Birmingham News.  Now the restaurant will work to reclaim that title as they thank customers for helping them get back on their feet.

Big Daddy's is located on Main Street in Warrior.

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