"We want to get the kitchen down and make sure the recipes are right," he said. "I think that's a smart way to open. We're not trying to do too much too fast."
Eventually, Andress says they plan to expand to a lunch buffet for the Monday-Friday crowd, opening at 11:30 a.m.. Takeout will be available late in the evening for the folks imbibing on craft brews at the adjacent Ale and the Witch downstairs. Plans are to keep serving until 12:30 a.m. on weeknights and 1:30 a.m. on Saturdays.
Andress spent five years working at Lee Roy Selmon's, opening five stores from Fort Myers to Largo. He's recruited some his former colleagues for the barbecue spot, including Jorge Cardonelle and Jason McCoy, to manage the restaurant and kitchen. The former Mexican restaurant has 7,855 square-feet, including a private event room.
"I've been formulating this plan for about a year and a half," Andress said. "It will make the space more full circle for those stopping by."
Growing up, southern foods were big in Andress' home.
"I grew up on southern foods, so this is also another part of me," he said. "Doing it this way, we are branching out and keeping the Ale and the Witch brand."