Noise complaints close local barbeque joint


Taylor Holland

There is no longer scented wood smoke coming from the fire pit at the Flats Road location of Archibald and Woodrow’s Bar-B-Q restaurant.

The Northport City Council, by a 4-1 vote, revoked the restaurant’s business license at its meeting on Thursday. According to the council, the restaurant was closed because of too many complaints from local residents with regard to noise level and parking congestion.

After receiving an alcohol license in November 2008, Archibald and Woodrow’s extended its closing time to 2 a.m. on Thursdays, which was the restaurant’s popular karaoke night. The later closing was also put into place for Saturdays.

Once the restaurant put its new hours into effect, the complaints began to come in.

“Here I am trying to go to sleep, and all I can hear is yelling and screaming from the restaurant’s parking lot,” said Scott Aaronson, a Northport resident for seven years. “Enough is enough.”

Michael Hughes, the lawyer for restaurant owner Woodrow Washington, told those in attendance at the council meeting that the restaurant’s management was not aware of any complaints lodged against their establishment. He said the city never issued any warnings or citations to the restaurant.

Not everyone felt that the restaurant was intrusive.

Pamela Grimball, a Tuscaloosa resident since 1980, lived blocks away from the restaurant’s current location.

“The noise was never really a factor,” Grimball said. “The restaurant wasn’t really there that long. I think it’s just a lot of people that have been living in the area for a long period of time and don’t like change.”

Students, some of whom were regular visitors to the establishment, may feel the effects from the restaurant’s closing.

Patrick Hannan, a freshman majoring in mechanical engineering, said Archibald and Woodrow’s was one of his favorite places to go to get barbecue.

“The food was unbelievable,” Hannan said. “I know many people in Tuscaloosa always talk about Dreamland and how great it is, but Archibald’s was a cut above it.”

The main branch of Archibald’s Barbecue, located in Northport at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Watermelon Road, is still open for business.

“I’ve never been to the original Archibald’s, but it looks as though I’ll be headed out there soon,” Hannan said. “But there’s no replacing my Archibald and Woodrow’s. I really hope they reapply for a license and open up a new restaurant quickly.”

Carly Taffet, a sophomore majoring in resort and hospitality management, also frequented the restaurant.

“In the beginning, I visited after reading a review praising the restaurant’s special sauce,” Taffet said. “But what really lured me in was the restaurant’s environment. The business was family owned and operated, so it really felt warm and welcoming. The staff treated all its patrons like family. I will be truly sad to see it go.”

The restaurant will be able to reapply for a business license once it moves to a new location.