“We’ve been lucky that we’ve found a lot of support from the neighborhood and the surrounding area,” said Bill Schoonmaker, director of operations. “We were able to get back up and running with full service within about a day and a half.”
The restaurant has been renting a 30- by 60-foot tent since then to make up for the 80 percent of dining area that was lost to the storm damage. However heading into the new year, the restaurant will be moving forward with needed repairs and renovations.
Schoonmaker said construction on a two-month long renovation project is scheduled to begin towards the end of January.
“We’re going to have larger bathrooms,” he said. “We’re going to expand the bar area with more indoor waiting room and seats around the bar. We’re going to actually have a covered patio with gas heaters and fans to be able to go ahead and make it more comfortable during the heavy parts of winter and summer.”
The renovations will bring the seating capacity back to its previous level minus about 12 seats, he said. During construction, Schoonmaker explained the restaurant will continue to operate full-service, but dine-in space in the tent will be limited to about 10 to 12 tables. He added to-go service and catering service will continue to operate as normal.
“We also have a sister store that’s two-and-a-half miles down the street in downtown Decatur called Big Tex [where] we already sell some barbecue there Monday through Friday,” Schoonmaker said. “We believe we’re going to sell a little bit more over there and be able to maybe alleviate some of the traffic over towards Decatur.”
Big Tex is at 308 W. Ponce de Leon Ave. and serves Southern-flair comfort food.
So far, dealing with the changes imposed by the storm damage has not put a damper on sales at Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q, Schoonmaker said.
“Our to-go sales have gone through the roof,” he said. “Our catering has gone through the roof … Our in-house seating has gone down just a little but our to-go and catering has picked up so much that it’s covered that loss.”
He added the restaurant was fortunate the tree did not cause damage to the smokehouse or kitchen.
Schoonmaker said when the renovations are completed, hopefully by the end of March, Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q will hold a grand re-opening celebration — a big party with live bands.
If you go:
What: Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q
Where: 1238 Dekalb Ave., Atlanta
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Information: (404) 577-4030 or visit www.foxbrosbbq.com.