Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Yeah, Its been almost two weeks. I've had the time to post but I just didnt make the time to. Things went pretty well in the two weeks leading up to and the week of Christmas - far better than I expected! Last week we really didnt make all that much money but we didnt lose any either. Back in Oct. & Nov. Bo, Jackie, and anyone else who knew anything about the restaurant industry told me to get ready, to brace myself for how little money would come in the door. We saw a real dip in dine-in customers but a big pick up in take home meals and small (20-40) catering jobs. Had it not been for the latter we would have been hurting! The picture of the "guys" above was taken this past weekend leading up to Christmas. Just gander at the yuletide joy on Bo's face.......isnt it just infectious? They needed a few days off so we were not open yesterday, which gave us all 3 days off. I'm looking forward to getting back to work today though. late yesterday afternoon (about 5:30) Marteen and I went over to the Joint to fire up the pit and put todays meat on and as I was firing that pit up I started to get excited about this week. Although going back over there at 3:00 this morning to add coals/wood is not fun!
Christmas for us was great - watching my little boy Wyatt open his gifts was the highlight of it all! He was more excited about the wrapping paper than the presents. Every year we cook breakfast on our family wood stove that has been in our family for over 80 years. That dang thing can still do it too! I inluded pics of that too.
Yesterday the Tennessean did an article on us. You can read it at:

This week should be pretty good. This Saturday night the music starts back up after taking a week off. I've had A LOT of folks tell me they were coming so if you come get ther early! I hope you all had a merry Christmas and I hope you all continue your joy with a happy Kwanzaa!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

There should be a new law......

I must say that the people and customers are still great! So far 99.9% of everyone that comes in is super nice. I'm really falling in love with the town and people of Nolensville! I love interacting with everyone. That being said I think we should have a law in this country that everyone is required to spend at least one year in the military and one year working as a server in a restaurant. Folks, you want to talk about helping our society. In 50 years you could literally map the social alchemy! The newfound respect and patience we would all have for one another would be unreal! Hell, we could be talking about world peace here! Most people are so nice and appreciative but there are some idiots out there. Very few have come in but there is one person that's killing me! I've got one woman, probably in her mid to late 30's with thighs like Mike Singletary, that tells me every time she's in (which is about once a week) that her "crock-pot bbq is still better than mine and everyone else around for that matter". After that she proceeds to tell me that pretty soon she’s going to open up shop, but for me not to worry because she's going to open in Nashville.........-oh, thanks hun, I appreciate that! Now, it’s not the statement that is annoying, everyone thinks they have a better this or that, and I actually really appreciate that. Heck if none of us thought that there would be no restaurants around would there? Its the telling me the same thing once a week that is equivalent to a twisting fork in my eyeball.........."yeah lady, I heard you the first time". And let me tell you this, you think she's afraid to tell me this while she is simultaneously filling her head cave full of vanilla Moon-Pie?????? -NONE….NO FEAR! Anyway I smile, tell her I'll need to try it sometime, please come back (by the way, did you notice above how often she comes in?), all that stuff. Its times like this where I wish I truly didn’t care…I could just respond in the manner I saw fit. Here’s what it would look like:

Singletary: “Well like I told ya last week, my bbq is STILL better than yours, and all them other places too! There’s comin’ a time…..I’m telling you….when I’m gonna open up my own place. Course’ you aint gonna have to worry cause I’m lookin’ to open up in Nashville!

Me: “Wow, your right. You really should open up a crock-pot bbq place! Look, right over there across the street. That's a 1st Tennessee bank. When you get done cramming that Moon Pie down your fat head hole why don't you waddle you’re big ass over there so they can help you open up shop? Ya’ know I’ve got a better idea. Find a little town in France with street lamps. Maybe you could drain your back fat and sell it for lamp oil and then you could just pay for it outright? What do ya’ think?

The "Calvary" has arrived!

Marteen, my old foreman for Harpeth Landscape Management, has come on board the Martin's Bar-B-Que Pirate ship. Marteen should now enable Bo and I to start working some normal hours. At the end of every night me and the ol' "Dread-neck" are staring a mountain of a clean up job right in the face and have been spending at least 2-3 hours per night after our close of 8:00 cleaning the kitchen up for the next day. This is in part due because there is not anyone keeping the place clean or the dishes clean while we're open and when we close we're backed up with a lot to do.
The past couple of weeks have been the usual emotional roller-coaster. Thanksgiving week was a big surprise. Cash flow far exceeded expectations. Last week was very average. It probably would have been a little better but Saturday night Ravenwood & Smyrna played for the 5A state football championship (most of our customers are in the Ravenwood district and Smyrna is "just across the tracks" so to speak). Days that used to be slow are now picking up and the days that used to be gangbusters are average. The cold, the holiday season, football.........heck I dont know. We're still doing really well, far better than I thought we would be doing this time of year. I'll just keep praying and keep trusting.

What is this Blog???

You ever been sitting around cooking for your family and friends and been told the following: "Hoss, this is the best I've ever had in my dadgum have got to open up a place of your own". The thought crosses your mind to do just that, but for whatever reason you dont. Well I'm "that" guy that actually went through with it and did it. I had absolutely ZERO restaurant experience! I decided to start this blog about my own experience hoping that it may be of some use and help to others who might be interested in opening their own place.
I learned this craft almost 20 years ago cooking whole hogs on brick & cinder block pits at a couple of little BBQ Joints in Henderson, TN. I learned from old, lifelong career Pit-Masters, working with them as an apprentice during school off and on for four years. Over the course of that time I learned the old, time-honored craft of REAL pit barbecue. At Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint I am trying as hard as I can everyday to bring that time-honored authenticity to my customers.
As you read you'll see I've made some stupid decisions, and I've made some good decisions. If you are thinking of opening a restaurant, especially a BBQ Joint, read this blog! Maybe some of this info can be of use to you. At the very least you will be entertained because I pull no punches.
Now listen, this is my blog to not only help with information but my blog to freely rant about my day to day experiences. There is no real "bad language" on this blog but there might be some things said that are very "tongue in cheek". If you are easily offended and/or cant see the satire in my posts then please just leave the blog. It will save both of us the annoyance of each other. For those of you who do like satire and are looking for good information about this experience, then by all means enjoy!