By Morgan Bryce
Renovations are underway on the future home of the Opelika-based catering company Butcher Paper BBQ.
According to owner Mark Coxwell, the new storefront should be open for business in early September shortly after the Labor Day holiday.
“I’m excited about it. I’m really excited, and I’m really ready to get going,” Coxwell said.
Coxwell started Butcher Paper in June 2016, working part time catering at local events and social functions. Last May, he moved the business to its current home at 128 Columbus Parkway, which is equipped with a commercial kitchen that he uses to cook and prepare meats, sauces and sides which are sold out of his food trailer.
Growing reputation and customer demand were both major factors in Coxwell’s decision to create a sit-down spot.
“I’ve been shocked by how fast things have been moving along. I really think that one of the biggest reasons that we’ve grown is because of the absence of Papa Joe’s (BBQ),” Coxwell said. “Its absence kind of left a hole here in Opelika. I think that’s why I’ve been able to take the leap with this building because there’s only one other barbecue place (Chuck’s BBQ) in town.”
Once completed, Coxwell said the 1940s -era building will possess a rustic, homey feel and feature a wide array of Opelika-themed decor.
“We’re going to try to get as many pictures or memorabilia of old Opelika as we can to have a very Opelika feel. I want it to have a very local feel,” Coxwell said. “We’ll always have music playing (and) picnic tables out front where people can eat on a nice day … it’ll be a place for the community to come together.”
During the month of June, Coxwell and his staff will serve food from their trailer at the restaurant on Wednesdays and Thursdays, as well as Bubba’s Pharmacy on Second Avenue on Fridays. As September approaches, he added that he plans to be open Tuesdays – Fridays at the new store to prepare his customers for the changes. The trailer will only be used for special events and gatherings when the restaurant opens.
For those unfamiliar with Butcher Paper and their offerings, Coxwell explained that the menu borrows heavily from barbecue cultures across the country, with brisket made in “tried-and-true Texas style” and sauces whose roots extend to both the Midwest and the East Coast.
“Everything here is made from the heart. The food is recognizable, but it’s also unique,” Coxwell said. “There’s a lot of thought, a lot of effort and a lot of love that goes into it. It’s different from anything else you’ll find around here.”
For more information or updates, follow the business on Facebook or Instagram, or call Coxwell at 706-247-1215.