For more than 20 years Eufaulians have scratched their itch for fried chicken at one local establishment: Willy T’s.
The family-owned snack shack on State Docks Road has blossomed in to one Eufaula’s most-visited eating establishments, and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Xxx Washington owned and operated a story in the Comer community in northwestern Barbour County. Washington eventually tired of the profession and wanted to get in to the restaurant field. After a phone call to a family friend the wheels of what would eventually become Willy T’s were put in motion.
We had a family friend that owned a place in Opelika called JimBob’s,” said Washington. “He taught us how to do everything and gave us some recipes. All he asked of us was to make a donation to his church. My dad got started in 1994, and we have been here ever since. Eufaula has been good to us for a long time. It started as a small business, and has grown, and grown and grown over the years. It has been pleasantly surprising to see a town the size of Eufaula support a business the way it has over the last twenty-plus years. When we opened, we couldn’t fathom where we are now.”
The restaurant specializes in friend and grilled chicken fingers, which can be doused in one of a dozen specialty sauces. But if chicken isn’t on your short list, don’t fret. Washington and staff have you covered.
In fact, they can have your entire staff of co-workers taken care of.
“We offer everything from our famous chicken fingers and buffalo wings to burgers, wraps and salads, said Washington. “During the colder time of year, we serve soup. Our tailgate pack is probably the best deal we have. It’s 25 fingers and 25 wins for 40 bucks even. We can also custom build a tray or event pack to meet your needs as well.”
Washington has been a part of the Eufaula community for basically his entire life, and couldn’t see himself anywhere else.
He enjoys each and every day he goes to work.
“A big draw for me is Eufaula is a small community that is very tight knit,” Washington said. “There is nothing better than being back in the kitchen frying chicken and looking up at the folks coming through the line and I know 98 percent of them. Everyone seems to be friends in town and the community isn’t just a place; it’s a family. We feel that our customers are part of our extended family.”
In the last two decades-plus, Willy T’s has grown by leaps and bounds. Washington says the restaurant’s success is due to the hard work of the employees and dedicated support of the local community.
“We can’t thank everyone enough for supporting us through the years,” said Washington. “Without them, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do. I’m not planning on going anywhere, so if the support continues to be there – which I think it will – we will be here forever.”