‘New’ Tupelo restaurant now taking reservations

By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – If you want to be one of the first in line to experience the new and improved Woody’s restaurant, you better make your reservations today.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, the cast and crew of the Food Network’s “Restaurant: Impossible,” will be in town to give the Tupelo landmark a whole new look. Chef Robert Irvine will have two days and $10,000 to revamp the restaurant’s menu and decor.
On Wednesday evening, Woody’s will have a grand reopening and serve dinner from 7 to 10:30. The reopening, as well as the revamp, will be filmed as part of the show, which will air at a later date.
“I bet we’ve had 20 phone calls a day now that people know about ‘Restaurant: Impossible’ coming to town,” said owner Feather Burns. “Already, new life is being breathed into Woody’s.”
The Gloster Street eatery has a history that goes back to the 1940s, Burns said.
“That stigma still sticks with us and unfortunately limits our appeal to people,” she said. “This restaurant has a perception problem. People still think it’s all crystal chandeliers.”
Burns said the last time the restaurant was remodeled was in 1992, just before it opened as Woody’s, to complement the hotel that surrounds it, the Rex Plaza.
“The idea for the decor was for it to be like a gentleman’s club,” she said. “Dark walls, dark carpet, dark wallpaper. When my mom and I bought it in 1998, we started to brighten it up a little bit. It’s kind of like a rustic steakhouse. One person described it as looking like the Cattleman’s Club in the TV show ‘Dallas.’ So it’s like my hair – stuck in a 30-year time warp.”
Burns said she has no idea what the restaurant will be like when the Food Network crew gets done with it.
“I don’t get to see my new menu until we’re way into the process,” she said. “I don’t even get to see my restaurant until about a half-hour before it reopens Wednesday night.”
Interested parties can call (662) 840-0460 to make a reservation.
ginna.parsons@journalinc.com