VooDoo BBQ & Grill is the hottest barbecue franchise around, with its New Orleans-style barbecue, distinctive atmosphere and rapidly growing franchise system. But it hasn’t yet set foot on the Westbank of the Mississippi River in its own hometown.
Steve Stumpf plans to change all that by opening a VooDoo BBQ location on busy Lapalco Boulevard in Harvey, aiming to lure workers at nearby industrial plants and residents of area subdivisions the restaurant to savor competition-style barbecue for lunch and dinner.
“I just saw a void on the Westbank. There’s really no good barbecue over here, and I like the VooDoo concept, their food and quality of service,” said Stumpf, 42, a New Orleans native who lives in the neighboring Westbank town of Gretna. “I like that it’s New Orleans-style barbecue, something that started here, not some national cookie-cutter brand. There’s just a mystique and atmosphere around VooDoo.”
Stumpf used to manage the Corky’s Ribs & BBQ location in Metairie and currently co-owns three Izzo’s Illegal Burrito locations in the New Orleans area. He and a business partner signed a franchise agreement with VooDoo’s home office in March and hope to open in Harvey before the end of the year. They’re negotiating for the property and a building that could usher in a new feature for a VooDoo BBQ restaurant: a drive-through window.
“The drive-through window is an interesting idea, and we’ll be watching closely to see if it’s a feature we should add to other locations,” said VooDoo BBQ CEO Tony Avila. “We’re very happy to have a footprint on the Westbank, a growing area with more than 300,000 people. We want to make sure we maintain a strong presence in the New Orleans area.”
VooDoo opened its first location in New Orleans on Mardi Gras Day 2002 and has expanded to reach 53 planned locations in six states. VooDoo serves competition-style barbecue beef, pork and chicken with unique side dishes, plus salads and sandwiches, in a clean, colorful fast casual environment. For more information, visit voodoobbq.com or voodoobbqfranchise.com.