Northern Wyoming Daily News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By Karla Pomeroy

Stogie Joe's looks to open next week in Worland

=WORLAND - Worland's newest family restaurant, Stogie Joe's, is set to open next week with limited hours but full hours for Dec. 15-16, just in time for visitors coming to town for the Battle of the Big Horns wrestling tournament.


December 8, 2017

Chris King and Keith McDonald, owners of Stogie Joe's

=WORLAND - Worland's newest family restaurant, Stogie Joe's, is set to open next week with limited hours but full hours for Dec. 15-16, just in time for visitors coming to town for the Battle of the Big Horns wrestling tournament.

Stogie Joe's, at 800 North 10th in Worland, is the longtime vision of partners, friends and Army veterans, Keith McDonald and Chris King. Having been friends for a longtime they had discussed doing a business venture together and King said when the old A&W building and lot were available "everything fell into place."

"The north end of town needs something for people coming in or going out," McDonald said. "This was a pretty darn successful place back in the day."

The partners opted for the more cost-effective method of remodeling and renovating the current structure rather than demolish and build new. There is new plumbing in the building. "We took the building down to the 'red iron.' Everything is brand new or recycled," King said.

McDonald added, "It needed a facelift. We definitely needed to change the curb appeal."

McDonald and King wanted an industrial-type look to the building inside and out. For the outside colors, McDonald said they drove to Bridger Steel in Billings and had colors selected within five to six minutes.

The inside décor has been a work in progress. The tabletops are made from the barn wood from the old Anderson barn in Ten Sleep that fell down earlier this year. Designs were etched in the wood. Benches at the tables are made from pallets.

McDonald said his wife, Melanie, who is the general manager at Stogie Joe's, and his children worked on the wood for the tabletops and benches.

The bar countertop is also wood. The initial wood covering, McDonald said he didn't like, so he ventured across 10th Street to Great Divide Forestry and had them cut a piece that they did end up using for the bar top.

Brick used in the building is from the former Teton Distributor building, McDonald and King said.

For the metal ceiling, they re-used the metal awnings that were over the drive-in stations at the old A&W.

Along with re-using/recycling wood and brick from the area, the partners tried to make sure all the contractors were local, including the general contractor Wyatt Molzahn, and the primary subcontract Tor LLC.


Large restrooms that are completely compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act, feature automatic lighting and will feature automatic door closure hinges.

There is a stand-up overflow area if a customer's table isn't quite ready when they arrive. Behind the overflow area will be the chalkboard menu.

As for other amenities, Stogie Joe's features three 55-inch televisions that will be tuned to sports, including any University of Wyoming Cowboys games when available, as well as NFL games.

Each table against the walls come complete with outlets and USB jacks for patrons to charge hand-held electronic devices while they eat. Free WiFi will also be available.

Stogie Joe's wants to cater to the student market with a quick student lunch available during the week, accepting school buses for teams that come to visit Worland, and staying open late Friday and Saturday to accommodate those attending games.

Another way they will be supporting students, King said, is with a work-to-college program. If a student works for Stogie Joe's an entire year, funds will be provided for the student's post-high school schooling.

As veterans, King and McDonald also want to honor their fellow veterans. The bar stools depict the insignias for the five branches of the armed forces - Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. They will also offer a veterans discount.


The name was a combination of ideas and was finalized as they were headed to the bank to finalize the purchase. "We had combined some things that we'd seen, and it just fit," King said.

Regarding the name, King said Admiral Beverage will be helping with some banners until permanent signage is up. He said Worland High School welding students are working on a metal sign for them.

Stogie Joe's will be open seven days a week 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Everything on the menu, including breakfast, will be available during regular business hours. King said if someone wants a pizza at 8 a.m., they'll be able to get one and if they want breakfast at 11 p.m. they can do that as well.

King said the desire is to be open during full hours by next Friday in time for the Worland wrestling tournament, Battle of the Big Horns, but he said patrons should check their Facebook page for the exact date.

One of the features of Stogie Joe's is the wood fired brick oven, which, at optimum temperature of 900 degrees, can cook a 14-inch pizza in a minute 40 seconds. They will offer some specialty pizzas but customers can also create their own.

The partners visited a restaurant in Billings that used a wood fired brick oven. McDonald said the visit sold him on the oven and offering pizza. "You can do everything in it. I never realized how versatile it was. Everything you cook in a regular kitchen you can cook in that oven," McDonald said.

They will also have a smoker to offer smoked meats on the menu.

In addition they will be offering specialty sandwiches, burgers, appetizers and steak.

As for the bar, they will have 14 bars on tap, including Guiness. They will feature some of the local microbrews, as well as many of the standards.

King said, "We wanted to offer something to the community where, it's a place that is open [early and late], it's a good working environment ... really, high quality food for good prices." McDonald added that they also want to provide excellent service and a fun environment for everyone to work in and dine in."

"I think that's what we've built here," King said.


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