Owner of Macclenny Woody's Bar-B-Q apologizes after brief closure

Restaurant Report

MACCLENNY, Fla. – In this week’s restaurant report,  the owner of a popular southern classic in Baker County is pouring his heart out and apologizing to the community after a recent closure. 

Jack Dunsmoor, the owner of Woody's Bar-B-Q restaurant in Macclenny, talked with News4Jax about why the closure was such a shock and what he's doing to make sure it never happens again. 

Dunsmoor has worked hard to support his community, hosting events such as kids eat free Mondays and offering military discounts, all while serving up barbecue and classic comfort food.

So when the restaurant was briefly shut down by health inspectors, he said he knew changes needed to happen -- and apologizing to the people the people he hurt was just the first step.

The Woody's Bar-B-Q on South Sixth Street in Macclenny is happy to be back in business after a brief battle with pests. Dunsmoor said it was a surprise when live roaches and flies were found in the kitchen by health inspectors. 

Shocked and disappointed, Dunsmoor said that he takes full responsibility. 

"I don’t blame anybody but myself because I should’ve been following up on it and I dropped the ball," he said. "I’ve got 42 employees here that paid the price. And they count on me to do my job every day."

Health inspectors forced the restaurant to shut down for a day and cited them for four high-priority violations.

Dunsmoor wasn’t happy about it but he wanted to be open about his mistakes.

He showed News4Jax the smoker and the prep table where roaches were hiding. Both were near the back entrance of the kitchen where they were able to easily crawl in. 

Dunsmoor said he feels the pest control company he hired wasn't doing their job and he’s doing his part to make sure that mistake doesn’t happen again.

"I’ve interviewed five and actually got recommendations from other restaurateurs that didn’t have issues and found a gentleman that had a record that was pretty darn impressive because, for a vendor to have restaurants for over 20 years that have never been closed or never had a pest problem, that’s a pretty good record," he said. 

The new vendor is doing exactly what they were hired to do, and Dunsmoor said he’s doing the same by checking up on them every day.

"I hurt a lot of people, the good people here in Macclenny and my staff. They don’t deserve the bad feedback that we got for a while," he said. "I want people to know that I’m responsible. I made the decision. I made the mistake. And I’m going to fix it and from this point forward, we’re never going to have another issue."

After several treatments and a thorough cleaning, the restaurant is now welcoming everyone back and serving up slow smoked baby back ribs again.

During the follow-up inspection, the restaurant passed with zero high-priority violations and inspectors gave the restaurant the green light to reopen the next day.

Dunsmoor said he’s also bought new equipment, including new grills, and is hoping for a full remodel of the business next year.