One of the most important factors to making a business successful is setting it apart from the competition. JJ’s Grill CEO and owner Jody Thornton understands this need and has created a string of restaurants known as JJ’s that gives a unique experience to the customer while providing a space for all ages to enjoy.
He started his chain in Northwest Arkansas and now has several JJ’s Grill locations in Central Arkansas as well. He recently opened up the JJ’s Beer Garden and Brewing Company in Fayetteville, which has its own unique feel. Downtown Bentonville will soon be the home to JJ”s Pour House.
In an interview with Talk of the Town NWA, owner and CEO Jody Thornton detailed all of what goes into any JJ’s. He spoke about several aspects that make each JJ’s entity great.
When asked about his inspiration for JJ’s, Thornton said that he wanted a place that could provide “a good personal relationship with a guest” while at the same time is “a combination of the best places I wanted to go.”
This includes everything from a family-friendly atmosphere to making customer service a top priority for both Thornton and his crew.
When referring to Northwest Arkansas, Thornton expressed his fondness for the area.
“We love Northwest Arkansas, it’s our home. Raised some kids here. It’s a great place to live, it’s beautiful and has got a nice price for living. Great homes, great neighborhoods, great people—there’s just a lot to do,” he said.
After a suggestion to open another restaurant, Thornton looked for a good feeling area to do so. “Found a couple of investors and just tried to find the right spot. I just liked that spot in Rogers and thought it was a good place to start,” said Thornton. (The first JJ’s Grill was in Rogers).
One particular addition that Jody Thornton is fond of is the live music that is played in all JJ’s.
“Living in Austin, there’s live music all the time and here there wasn’t a commitment. I wanted a restaurant that was committed to live music every night,” he said. “It (live music) adds something to the city, it adds something to the culture, it adds something to people that want to be in the area. We’ve really worked hard to create something different.”
The atmosphere at each JJ’s can be seen vividly through every patron that enjoys both food and either alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages. Children under the age of 12 eat free with one adult every night at each JJ’s, be it the Beer Garden or one of the Grills.
What’s next for Thornton and JJ’s? We’ve already mentioned the Pour House opening soon, but there is also a plan to start having the JBGB-brewed beer distributed to all the JJ’s.
“We wanted to continue our brand and we saw the next best arm of that to be a brewery because we sell so much beer in the locations,” he said.
We wish him and his crew the best of luck as they shine in Northwest Arkansas and beyond.
Article by Wayne C. Hahne | Staff Writer at Jamie’s Notebook