By Sarah Lynch

The owner of Woody’s restaurant is well traveled, well educated and very creative. Andrew Jones graduated from Eastern with a degree in psychology, but realized he wanted to do something in his life that he enjoyed and could look back on and say, “I did it.” Jones said he opened Woody’s with ten credit cards and minimal cooking experience. A liquor license was obtained with a Discover card. His drive was his belief that Richmond needed this restaurant and his saying “it is better to try and then fail than to not try at all.”

On Dec. 7, Woody’s will celebrate its 10-year anniversary. Jones said business has been better than ever the past few months. Jones is proud of the success Woody’s has had in Richmond. “Ain’t life grand,” he said.

The owner, upbeat and confident, is only distraught by a few things: “People have a tendency to misconstrue the idea of Woody’s. Some people think Woody’s is just a place to bring a date or a place for special occasions. But if all you want is a hamburger, we’ve got it. We like things semi formal and dressed down.”

From 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., customers can indulge in the gourmet food buffet. Delicious homemade soup, fresh French bread and cornbread and a garden salad are served on the buffet. Customers may also order off the special lunch menu. Try the chicken salad on a croissant. It’s refreshing and delectable. Also on the lunch menu are grilled salmon with mixed greens, Woody’s classic cheeseburger and the Woody melt – a portabella mushroom cap topped with grilled veggies and melted mozzarella.

On the dinner menu, Woody’s connoisseurs can try the giant shrimp cocktail with homemade cocktail sauce. The shrimp are as fresh as they can get, as they are cooked to order. A great appetizer is the black bean quesedillas and the classic mini crab cakes with chili lime Aidi. According to Jones, the best-selling entre at Woody’s is the filet mignon.

“We trim and chop all of our own steak. We only do filet mignon because it’s the best,” Jones said.

Another of Woody’s bestsellers is its signature salad. Jones said this salad comes with fresh spinach, Romaine lettuce, grilled veggies and topped with Woody’s special house dressing – parmesan vinaigrette with “none of that canned stuff.”

To help celebrate Woody’s 10th year, Jones invites everyone – from the lawyers in suits to the hippies in dreads that frequent the restaurant – to come and have a glass of champagne. “Come one come all,” Jones said. “Cheers to you.”

Woody’s restaurant brings substance to Richmond, and it conveys the essence of creativity and discovery. Yeah, you can get a cheeseburger anywhere, but why not try one in a dimly lit room, on a linen tablecloth, with a burning candle and fresh flowers, while listening to jazz. I promise it will taste better.