Family is at the heart of everything Woody’s Bar-B-Q of Flagler County, Florida is all about. Opened in 1998 by newbies to the restaurant industry, the Crews Family has found their footing and the secret to success over the last two decades – earning them the title of 2021 Franchise of The Year by the Woody’s Bar-B-Q Franchise System. Matt and Josh Crews had spent years working at their family’s sawmill – co-owned by their grandfather and father, Scott. When the decision was made to sell the sawmill and find a new calling, this entrepreneurial-minded family began exploring a wide variety of opportunities to start something and make it grow. While they seriously considered opening a jet ski dealership at one point, fate led them to Woody Mills and Florida-based Woody’s Bar-B-Q. And we’re so glad it did.
From Fork Lifts to Food Prep
No strangers to a challenge, Matt and Josh traded in their fork lift driving skills for pitmaster aprons and went to work for a couple of months at another Woody’s franchise to learn the ropes. They hadn’t grown up on BBQ and admit that they weren’t even good cooks when they started. But they had a winning attitude that they could learn anything…. and all their hard work paid off! From the moment they opened their doors, Woody’s Bar-B-Q of Flagler immediately received a favorable response from their community – and with good reason. The Crews Family had been in Flagler County since 1906.
Staff That’s Like Family (and Family That IS Staff)
Today, much of the staff you’ll run into at Woody’s Bar-B-Q of Flagler are related to the Crews Family in one way or another. Actual members of the family are nearly always front and center with Matt running the show in the front and back of the house, his wife Melissa tending bar five nights a week, and their four children – Julianna, Aaron, Isaiah and Ian – either currently working there or did before heading off to college. The rest of the staff has either been with the company virtually since the beginning or are high school friends of the Crews’ kids. As a result, guests can expect a friendly, comfortable and homelike atmosphere. It takes Matt quite a while to make his way through the dining room as he runs into folks he knows and shakes hands.
“Woody’s Bar-B-Q is my home away from home,” said Matt. “It’s where my kids often do their homework. This is where our friends come to find us. It’s like one of those old traditional Italian restaurants – very warm, social and inviting – where everyone seems to know one another.”
Let’s Not Forget the FOOD
Aside from seeing people all the locals know, another major draw to Woody’s Bar-B-Q of Flagler is its crowd-pleasing menu. Woody’s Signature Baby Back Ribs is the most popular dish, followed closely behind by the Carolina Pulled Pork. There is also a solid fanbase for the Southern Fried Catfish, Bar-B-Q beans, cole slaw, turnip greens, lima beans and stewed okra and tomatoes. Matt – who eats at his restaurant six days a week – is a huge fan of the Classic Sliced Pork and Texas Beef Brisket.
“Our food is really, really good and you get great value for your dollar,” adds Matt. “From chicken and prime rib to fried shrimp and grilled salmon, you’ll find a wide variety on our menu. There’s something for everyone.”
An “Eventful” Outing
Woody’s Bar-B-Q of Flagler regularly features a number of specials and events. For the last decade, on Tuesdays, the restaurant showcases Two Baby Back Dinners for $24.99*. On Thursdays, the Flagler eatery offers a Kids Eat Free Special, where kids 10 and under get a free meal from the kids’ menu when an accompanying adult orders a meal from the regular menu. There’s also Bike Night at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays with the Palm Coast Bike Riders Club, Classic Car Shows on Wednesdays – featuring as many as 120 cars when the weather is nice and cornhole competitions in the parking lot on Thursdays. Once a month on Sundays, radio-controlled car enthusiasts set up a track in the parking lot. Woody’s Bar-B-Q of Flagler also features a full bar, patio seating, delivery through Grub Hub and UberEATS, catering and an open party space for events.
Community is particularly important to The Crews Family and Woody’s Bar-B-Q of Flagler. It rallied around them when Matt’s brother, Josh, passed away in 2010 and again when their former business partner – Joe Rizzo – passed away in March 2022. Woody’s Bar-B-Q of Flagler was proud to host a reception after Joe’s funeral in his honor for his family and friends. The open event space at Woody’s – with room enough for 15 to 45 guests – has served a lot of happy occasions, as well. Matt regularly hosts the football team from his former high school – Flagler Palm Coast HS – for pre-game meals and has played host to a number of birthday parties for BBQ fans of all ages over the years.
Located at 99 Flagler Plaza Drive in Palm Coast, Woody’s Bar-B-Q of Flagler is open Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Matt, Melissa, Julianna, Aaron, Isaiah and Ian Crews invite you to visit them the next time you’re in the area. You can also call-in your takeout order to (386) 439-5010.
2023 will mark the 25th Anniversary of Woody’s Bar-B-Q of Flagler! Plans are in the making for a big celebration – so STAY TUNED!
*Prices subject to change