Just 2 months after David W. Anderson opened his “new concept in barbecue” restaurant in downtown Hayward, Jimmie’s Old Southern BBQ Smokehouse is opening up a second restaurant in another city.
Anderson, formerly known as Famous Dave, said he’s opening a restaurant in the South Ridge Center near the intersection of Hwy. O and Main Street across from Herberger's. He expected to finalize the deal as soon as Monday, June 22.
Rice Lake is a “growing community. The economy is thriving,” Anderson said.
Since Old Southern BBQ Smokehouse opened on Highway 63 north of Main Street in Hayward on April 14, business “has exceeded all our expectations, more than we could ever hope for,” Anderson said June 19. “We’ve had lines (of customers) out the door, and several times we’ve sold out of our barbecue.
“I think we’ve got something that people really love. You know, you can’t really expand to different locations unless people really want you,” Anderson said. “Even though Hayward is a little town of 2,300 people, already without any advertising the word has gotten out. People have driven here from Eagle River, Ashland, Duluth, Rice Lake, Eau Claire. We’re a regional draw. People tug on my shirt sleeve and say ‘Anderson, you’ve got to put one of these in my town.’
“We’re expecting a very busy summer,” Anderson added. “We’re seeing the sales numbers tick up every day. I’m a big believer that you never rest on yesterday’s laurels. One of my favorite sayings is ‘Good, better, best—never let it rest. The good get better and the better best.’ Every week I’m working on diligently improving the recipes. I want to be the best, create the best barbecue and best sides, the best atmosphere.”
Anderson said he also wants to give his employees the opportunity for advancement. “It’s not just a job, but an opportunity to grow with a company that has really good opportunity at becoming the next nationally-recognized barbecue brand.
“The day that we opened here, we were an international company—that’s how I saw it,” he added.
He said he’s also looking for locations to open a restaurant in the Duluth-Superior area.
Anderson said he “still plans to build something” at the former Original Famous Dave’s property on Round Lake. The restaurant burned down Nov. 3, 2014, and subsequently the ruins were razed and cleaned up.
“We are just finishing up with the insurance company,” he said. “A lot of that was because there were so many one-of-a-kind, unique things in the building, plus all the antiques. It was hard to archive and find pricing. But we finally have done that. We’re looking forward to starting over.”