By Morgan Bryce
Zoe’s Ice Cream Delight of Spring Villa is looking to keep an Opelika culinary tradition alive.
Gail Webster, cousin of former Papa Joe’s Bar-B-Q owner Vickie Anderson, said her restaurant will hold a ‘Papa Joe’s Bar-B-Q Night’ the first Tuesday of every month beginning in March as a way of preserving the establishment’s legacy.
“When the building got torn down (last November), one of my relatives saved the sign for me, and my husband had it framed for my birthday and put it up in my dining room (at Zoe’s). All my customers that have known me 40 years from Papa Joe’s started saying, ‘well, when are you gonna have Papa Joe’s? I need some of those steak fries,’” Webster said.
After posting her idea on social media earlier this month, Webster said she has received a wave of public support, substantiating her notion that the restaurant may be gone, but not forgotten.
“I think of it as respecting my heritage I guess. It was just a part of my life … my son grew up there, a lot of my customers are my Papa Joe’s customers that were there for years,” Webster said. “I just want to keep the tradition alive. It’s been a part of the community for 40 years this coming June, and I want people to remember Papa Joe’s.”
The first tribute night is slated for March 6 from 4-9 p.m. at Zoe’s. They will serve ribs, pork, steak fries, baked beans and stew for dine-in or carry-out customers. For more information, call 334-749-4455.
The restaurant is located at 2757 Alabama Highway 169.