One & Only BBQ owners double down with newly-constructed Cordova location

One & Only BBQ co-owners Joe Banes and Alan Katzen probably might have never purchased the restaurant six years ago if it wasn’t for their weekly poker game. Now the pair have opened their third area location. They’ve purchased a prime piece of property on Germantown Parkway in Cordova to build their own 3,000-square-foot restaurant.

“At that poker game, we were talking about our favorite BBQ restaurants, and we got six different answers from seven people at the table. The only two that matched were mine and my partners – we both liked One & Only BBQ,” said Katzen. “But we really felt like we could do a better job with their approach to the public.”

Katzen and Banes bought the restaurant near Poplar Avenue and Kirby Parkway and then added a second location on Perkins Extended. Since then, growth has exceeded 40 percent per year over the last four years for the two restaurants.

“For our third location, we decided we really wanted to buy a piece of property and build a restaurant from scratch,” said Katzen, who looked at several properties on Germantown Parkway as far north as the Wolfchase Galleria. “We really were not excited about being at Wolfchase where there are so many other restaurants.”

A one-acre corner lot across from the Agricenter at 153 Timber Creek, which was previously part of the Koger Center, had been for sale for a while and was perfect for One & Only’s needs. So the partners purchased the site.

“The No. 1 reason why we really wanted to build our own place is we wanted to have a drive through. We wanted that convenience for our guests,” said Katzen, who cited the fact that Corky’s pioneered the idea locally of having a drive thru for BBQ.

“Not a whole lot of restaurants have followed up with that idea because you need a unique piece of property.”

One major obstacle during the building of the new restaurant was dealing with a sinkhole discovered on the property and filling it in with dirt and concrete.

“That probably threw us behind in opening by three months,” Katzen said.

Additionally, the lot’s triangular shape required a good deal of drainage for flood control. Grinder, Taber & Grinder handled the construction.

The Germantown Chamber recently held a ribbon-cutting event to mark One & Only’s opening in Cordova.

The new restaurant has hired 95 employees for its launch, and Katzen expects to hire a few more over the next few months due to better-than-anticipated opening sales.

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