As the son of a restaurateur, Mike Pagano has fond memories of growing up in the restaurant business. After his father passed away when he was a young boy, Pagano longed to open a restaurant of his own one day. That dream became a reality when Mike and his wife, Jan debuted their new Woody’s Bar-B-Q franchise on December 3. Located at 4351 S. Harrison Blvd. in Ogden, this newest addition to the growing national barbecue franchise chain marks the first Utah location.
When Mike and Jan first began searching for the right franchise to fit their combined vision, taste and personality, they were immediately drawn to Jacksonville, Fl-based Woody’s Bar-B-Q.
“We looked at many other franchises before we discovered Woody’s,” explains Jan Pagano, local nurse and proud owner of Woody’s Bar-B-Q of Ogden. “Mike really wanted to own a barbecue restaurant, but he gravitated toward Woody’s for its distinctive family feel. Woody and the franchise support staff are so friendly and supportive. They really care whether or not we succeed and are so receptive to our questions. As new franchisees, we have lots of questions. They never make us feel as though we’re a bother. Instead, they seem to truly care about us personally.”
After talking about owning his own restaurant for 25 years, Mike is excited to finally share a few memories from his childhood firsthand with his own children, daughter Lindsey (11) and son Andrew (13). His mother, Thelma remembers all too well the long hours and hard work required to run a successful restaurant, but feels that Mike’s outgoing and friendly personality – a carbon copy of his father’s – is well-suited for this industry. The fact that both Jan and Mike were born at McKay Dee Hospital, grew up in small towns just outside of Ogden, and graduated from Weber State University, make them lifelong members of the tight knit Ogden community.
“We’ve lived here our whole lives,” says Jan. “Woody’s has been really well-received, before we even opened our doors. People were always stopping by to ask when opening day would be. All of Utah needs really good barbecue, and Woody’s has amazing barbecue. In addition to great food, we have a wonderful staff with lots of experience and enthusiasm. Mike and I will both be here to interact with our customers on a daily basis. I hope our guests feel like our restaurant offers a fun family atmosphere that is warm and inviting, and that they’ll bring the whole family out to enjoy our incredible food.”
As for recommendations from the owners of the newest Woody’s franchise, Mike prefers the sliced pork, Jan is a fan of the baby back ribs, their son Andrew loves the smoked chicken, and daughter Lindsey gives the macaroni and cheese a big thumbs up (and she should know – her mom insists she’s a major mac -n- cheese connoisseur.)
Mike, Jan, Andrew and Lindsey Pagano welcome all of Ogden to come out and experience the authentic flavor of classic Southern barbecue at their new Woody’s Bar-B-Q. Kids eat free (one child 12 and under per adult entrée purchase) on Tuesday evenings. Hours are 11am to 9pm Weekdays and 11am to 10pm Weekends. To place an order for pick up or Curbside TOGO, hungry Ogdenites are invited to call (801) 394-RIBS (7427).
After opening their first Woody’s Bar-B-Q in 1980, partners Woody Mills and Yolanda Mills-Mawman have spent the past three decades setting the “bar” higher for great Southern Bar-B-Q. From the humble beginnings of just one location in Jacksonville, Florida, a shared passion for Bar-B-Q, and a dog-eared collection of recipes, Mills and Mawman have grown the Woody’s Bar-B-Q brand to more than two dozen locations reaching from the Deep South where Bar-B-Q is king to the Northeast and Western fronts. Perhaps best known for their signature melt-in-your-