Fat Daddy's expanding brand into Greenwood with future grown on horizon
By: ADAM BENSON
Over phone calls and text messages, Cross Hill’s Fat Daddy’s BBQ came to be.
Owner Billy Ray Reeder would exchange tips and recipes with his sons and implement their findings and advice into dishes that quickly made his eatery a go-to location for Lakelands barbecue aficionados.
This fall, his son Chris is expanding the family brand into a 4,000-square foot restaurant located in Uptown Greenwood’s Shoppes at Hampton Place — marking a $200,000 investment he hopes will lead to expansion opportunities.
For now, Reeder — a Lakelands native who spent the past 12 years in Charleston running Jim ‘N Nick’s and helping to open Rodney Scott’s BBQ — is focused on building upon his father’s creation.
“It was a great opportunity for me and my family to come back to Greenwood. I grew up here,” Reeder said. “We’re all in on this. Hopefully, this will be the second of three of four. We’ll take on local partners in different areas.”
With more than 15 years of restaurant ownership and managerial experience and a lifelong relationship with that granddaddy of all Southern cuisine, Reeder said Fat Daddy’s Greenwood location is primed for success.
“The city has made huge strides and continue to make progress,” Reeder said. “Really, all you’re ever going to be is your food and your people. So if you don’t bring both of those along at the same time, you can’t grow.”
Uptown Manager Lara Hudson said Fat Daddy’s addition to the city’s merchant district continues its momentum and validates investments made over the past decade to enhance the sector.
“We’re very excited about the addition of Fat Daddy’s in Uptown. Their investment, along with current dining and retail establishments will enhance the atmosphere of The Shoppes at Hampton Place,” she said. “We feel certain the streetscape projects and other revitalization efforts throughout the Uptown area play a vital role in generating both new businesses and expansion of existing ones.”
Reeder said he plans to be visible and accessible to patrons when Fat Daddy’s opens.
“Places where you can see the face of the business every day, those things thrive,” he said.
As host city for the South Carolina Festival of Discovery, Reeder believes Uptown Greenwood benefits from having a year-round barbecue.
It’s also going to provide a learning experience for Reeder that could lead to new menu items.
“In barbecue especially, you learn things from each other and those are the kind of things we’re going to add as options,” Reeder said. “There are different techniques and sauces that move as families spread out.”
He also hopes Fat Daddy’s has a ripple effect for his fellow Uptown proprietors.
“If the buzz is to come Uptown and eat barbecue on Thursday here, it’s also going to cause a buzz for people going to the Mill House and others places. It becomes a place to go, and that’s a big deal.”