Buddy's bar-b-q now open in Cleveland

Photo contributed by Buddy's bar-b-q

A month after the first local Buddy's bar-b-q opened in East Ridge, the local franchisee for the Knoxville-based chain has opened a second local barbecue eatery in Cleveland, Tennessee.

The newest Buddy's bar-b-q opened for business at 678 Paul Huff Parkway NW in Cleveland, across from the Publix grocery store, on Tuesday.

"Cleveland is such an awesome place, we are thrilled to be here," said Darik Dawes, the managing partner for the local Buddy's bar-b-q franchise. "We are overwhelmed with the reception that we have received and can't wait to serve this community."

Dawes, who has previously operated a Sonic drive-in franchise in Chattanooga and is part-owner of the Mainstay Suites hotel in East Brainerd and the Springhill Suites by Marriott in Ooltewah, opened the first Buddy's b-b-q in Southeast Tennessee last month at the Jordan's Crossing retail complex at Exit 1 in East Ridge.

Buddy's bar-b-q is a casual hometown southern restaurant that offers hickorysmoked pork, chicken, ribs, brisket, and wings, made fresh daily.

"We really like the food and the menu is just unbelievable," Dawes said after eating at a Buddy's in Seviervillle, Tennessee.

Buddy's was first established in 1972 in Knoxville and the expansion to Cleveland marks the 16th location in the Buddy's family and the second in the greater Chattanooga area.

Mark Lemoncelli, CEO of Buddy's bar-b-q, says Buddy's offers the fast casual experience at a value price, with the typical meal ticket around $8.50 to $10.

"We're looking to open two to three more stores a year," Lemoncelli said last month about the company's future growth plans.

The newest Buddy's restaurant is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.