Thursday, October 25, 2007

Skin Cancer

Had a wad of scar tissue on my right shoulder that never would go away.......been on there for like 3 or so years. I thought it was scar tissue from some hard work (building a retainer wall and hauling the cross ties on my shoulder........not tryin' to sound like an Alpha male but I'm just sayin'). It just never would go away so I finally went to the Doc at Belle Meade Dermatology. They shaved a dadgum sample off my shoulder with a razor blade that looked like Johnny Paycheck had just got through snorting a line of coke with (may the good Lord rest his soul). At any rate it was "hot"......or malignant. They scheduled me in to take the rest of it out.......5.75" by 2.5" by 1.25" deep!!! I was like doc......should I bring the ice cream scoop from home or will you take care of that? I mean it was a freakin' hunk. Anyway it put me out of work for the day and that is not rest............but I gave in. Back to it tomorrow and looking forward to it. I'll have a bum shoulder for 3 weeks but I'll manage. Besides......Wiley "Bo" Collier is at the helm.....can you say "atten-hut"?


Certain battle has been diverted......Apology and financial aid given for the fence gate debacle from the culprit.......everything has been rectum....ah, rectified. There will be no henge's stuffed up any ones butt by the folks at Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint.......but we still have an issue with them dropping product, i.e. meat that needs constant refrigeration in the the middle of lunch while we are at our busiest so there could be additional "colorful" stories to follow. We'll wait and to work.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Last week

Last week ended up being a really good week. The week before was slow and I think that can be attributed to the fall break. This week I see being a little slower because of all the rain we are finally getting. Its getting tiring being at the mercy of school and weather. That is the price I'm paying for being in Nolensville. Lord willing when the opportunity arises for a second location it will be somewhere close to and/or more convenient to the metro Nashville area. Dresch got the uprights on the trailer this past week, its starting to really look good. Still got a ways to go but you can really see it coming together. I found my camera over the weekend so I'll get some pics of it posted in the next day or so. The IWC rep keeps showing up for deliveries in the middle of lunch rush which makes it impossible to check in inventory. Needless to say there have been some screw ups! Last Friday night we go out to put meat on and there was no brisket. Had to drive to Murfreesboro to pick some up from Jim-n-Nick's. Thanks Z for the meat and thanks Dave getting me hooked up with Z to get out of the jam. Then the IWC rep broke the gate to the fence yesterday and promptly left without letting us know anything. I mean the whole damn gate was laying on the ground off the henge's......I guess he thought to himself:
"Oh shit, I ripped the gate off the fence......ah no worries, they got a rush going on, by the time they find out they'll never know it was me"

Like Bo & I were going to come out and say:

"Gee Bo.....the musta just fell down"

I love my customers but Friday (we get deliveries on Tuesday & Friday) when I see that dadgum IWC truck pull in I dont care if its high noon and there are 400 people in line, I'm gonna walk out there and he can either pay me for the new henge's or there could be a fight. I've saved the old henge's in case he starts hemmin' & hawin' - I'll jam those damn things up his fat ass. I'm getting mad typing about it right now....I've got to quit.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


This week has been really pretty good so far. Over the past few days I've had a couple of folks tell me that last week was fall break for all of the schools, so that is why last week was a little slow. That has prompted me to start thinking about having winter hours and summer hours. Since Labor day our daily traffic has gone from about 50/50 (give or take a little) for lunch dinner to lunch really picking up but dinner really slowing down. I'd say dinner is only about 20% of our total sales right now and 90% of that 20% is before 6:30. Weekends have not been affected, we're killin' it on weekends just like we have been since about April. I just think that where we are folks schedules are highly affected by the schedule of their kids. The week after Labor day it was like someone flipped a switch. Its the demographic we operate around. This would not be an issue if we were in Nashville or even Franklin because of the population......the school year does not affect 75% of the population like it does in Nolensville. We are time clock punching every ticket right now and over the next couple of weeks I'll input that into an excel spreadsheet and let the data make the decision for me, but if i were to guess I'd bet we start closing at 6:30 during the week nights until say March/April and then go back to our current hours until next October. The weekends will stay the same. We're also looking at opening on Mondays for lunch since our lunch business is so strong.......we'll see what happens.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

1 year.

Well yesterday officially marked our 1 year anniversary. That opening day/night seemed like yesterday. I remember Bo and I sitting at Cracker Barrell for breakfast opening morning wondering how many folks would show up.......20, 50.........we had no idea. Needless to say it was nothing short of bedlam! As much as we prepared we were totally unprepared for what was to come. A line to the door, 45 minute waits for food, people getting really pissed off, I didnt even have time to go out and apologize because of how backed up we were. I remember how whipped I felt when the night was over. I remember how scared I was that all those customers would never come back and give us a second chance, that they would tell all of their buddies not to eat at Martin's BBQ, that we had our head up our butt. You dont know what to do but just show up the next day and get back after it........I'm glad we did. For those of you that have kept up with the blog you know what a year its been. We're far from being "out of the woods", but being open one year puts you past certain statistics so there is a moral victory felt. That being said, we got a long way to go..........a really long way to go!

Friday, October 12, 2007

This week apparently has sucked.

Apparently sales this week has sucked. Bo just filled me on the sales and we are about $1000.00 shy of where we were last week. When folks are going to get out of their post Labor Day funk is boyond me. I know little Johnny is back in school.....but does your whole dang mid-week life quit? I mean, I got two infants and we still get out at least one night a week.

Im back

Last week my parents swung into town to stay with us for a night on their way up to New England. After we got the kids down Dad looks over at me and offers up plane tix if we (Me, Martha & the kids) would come up and meet them in Cape Cod. Now normally that would be a slam dunk but its tough for me to be away from my Joint......I am an admitted and I might say proud control freak. When I'm away from the Joint I dont ever really relax because my mind is on the its tough to get me to go anywhere when I've got the opportunity. Im guessing my Ol' Man knew that because the next thing out of his mouth was: "Oh, we'll pick up the hotel tab too"..........making it stupid for us not to there is no out! After we went back and forth about me us picking up our own tab and all that shit, I gave in. For those of you who dont know me personally you should know that I have two beautiful kids. One 23 months old and the other 7 months. Yeah so its not just the Joint that keeps me from going anywhere. Now you might be asking why on earth we have two kids so close together and my answer is that if you'd read the dang blog you would have your answer.....but for those of you that dont, do you think we really planned it that way? No......we have two beautiful unplanned children that have, I must say, been real blessings. Anyway the trip was great, but it was stressful. Im glad to be back home......about to head out to the Joint, and I'm looking forward to blogging again! It felt good to say the word "shit" up top and not have to worry about an editor!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Nashville Scene

This week the Nashville Scene published its annual "best of" awards. I was surprised and honored that we were picked by the editors as "Best new Barbecue". The scene carries a lot of weight around town, so its a big deal that we were chosen. I was surprised because being out in Nolensville you dont anticipate even being considered for things like this. Jim Ridley wrote the piece and he had some very, very kind things to say! I'm just glad he like the food well enough to consider us. The readers choice (where folks write in votes) picked Whitt's...........again............I think I'll just leave that one alone. At any rate, at least Jack's & Jim-n-Nick's (both very good Q) made the readers choice cut. Thank you Scene, its a big honor to us!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


A lot to add, but I've had what seems like very little time to post. I WILL BE POSTING again in the next several days. The "blog" is about to get good again! I'll be posting every week a few times a week and will take the blog back to what it was when it first started....which means very little will be edited and/or held back. I started the blog for a couple of reasons; 1) I wanted a place to "vent" and keep buddies up to pace with the progress of the BBQ Joint and 2) I also wanted to give information about the process of starting something like this from scratch and take the reader through the trials because there is very little out on the web, that is REAL information, for someone wanting to start a restaurant......I'm not just talking about numbers for a business plan but day to day experiences. So I'm taking this thing back to what it was so to speak. Oh my wife will do some editing in regards to cussing and the occasional mortar shell of insults I might pull the trigger on for those special people who piss us all off on a day to day basis......which I do need. For the most part though the blog is going back to what it was, informative and pure Pat Martin entertainment.

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!