From Truck to Table
J. Render’s Southern Table & Bar delivers Upscale BBQ in a Stylish Setting
Locally owned and operated since 2012 this Restaurant, Caterer and Food Truck, J. Render’s Southern Table & Bar offers diners classic BBQ along with other Southern Specialties, such as Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Traditional Burgers and down home classics such as Gwyn’s Meatloaf. J. Render’s also boasts a Full Bar with over 22 Bourbons to choose from, not to mention local Craft Beer, Wine and Craft Cocktails. Diners can select from a variety of appetizers, interesting salads, numerous specialty sandwiches, Southern specialties and good old Southern BBQ. All of our meat is smoked on site, sides & desserts are made from scratch along with all of our signature sauces. All of this, combined with Patio Dining and Live Music on the weekends, make it the perfect spot for a quick lunch, a night on the town or a family dinner.
For Ren and Gwyn Everly, making the leap from food truck to brick-and-mortar restaurant ownership in 2016 was not exactly a long-term plan. But after four successful years running their food truck, “Big Red” along with a steady catering business, word began to spread about their delicious smoked meats and sides. And on May 31, the Everlys introduced their brand new restaurant, J. Render’s Southern Table & Bar. When asked about the origins of the name, Gwyn said, “My husband’s name is John Render Everly –Render was a family surname on his father’s side. Southern Table is a nod to the fact that we offer Southern Fare along with BBQ.
It took about a year for the Everlys to find the ideal space, but they are convinced it was worth the wait. “We wanted something that wasn’t too big,” Gwyn said. “Plus, we wanted to have a full bar, a patio, somewhere to park our food truck, and plenty of parking for customers. When they found the old Puccini’s space (which had stood vacant for two years), they knew it was the ideal location.
Ren got his start in the food business by owning Domino’s franchises, and Gwyn describes herself as “a bit of a rolling stone” – she worked in the mortgage business (Kentucky Mortgage) for several years, and later graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Kentucky. Following that, she worked for Lexmark and then earned a Master’s Degree in Education from Georgetown College to teach high school math, but ultimately ended up in the food service business along with her husband.
When it comes to food, Gwyn says, you’ll see many of the same dishes they make for friends and family at their home. “We’re home cooks –we don’t have any formal training, but we know good food,” she said. “Ren is the Pit Master. He has been smoking meat recreationally for about twenty years and he really enjoys learning the craft and experimenting with different smokers. And I’m all about the sides. My daughter says, ‘Mom it’s so weird to sit down at a restaurant at and eat food you used to make at home.”
Customer favorites include the Smoked Buffalo Chicken Dip – a baked, creamy mixture of pulled chicken breast, cheddar cheese smoked in-house, and buffalo sauce, served with a side of club crackers, carrots and celery. Other favorites include the “Oh No You Didn’t” Grilled Cheese –pulled pork with a touch of sweet BBQ sauce and smoked mac n’ cheese nestled between two slices of American cheese on grilled Texas toast, and the Havana Day Dreamin’ Cubano –their version of the original Cuban sandwich with hickory smoked pork loin, ham, swiss, and pickles on a grilled hoagie roll with Gwyn’s mojo mayo.
When asked about her favorite dish on the menu, Gwyn said, “The Smoked Chicken Salad is my absolute favorite. Basically it’s our BBQ Quesadilla without the bread, so it’s perfect for those who might want a healthier or low carb option.” She recommends the chicken salad and a Cosmopolitan for the perfect lunch or dinner.
Home cooked food and hospitality aside. J. Render’s offers customers a chance to “step it up” from the casual atmosphere of most BBQ restaurants. For example, while most offer counter service, J. Render’s offers a full bar and table service. “I think that differentiates us from other places,” said Gwyn. She has personally tasted every wine on their list and her current favorite is the Leese Fitch Pinot Noir. They also offer mixed drinks and a rotating tap with local beers, including Country Boy’s Cougar Bait, Shotgun Wedding and West Sixth’s IPA.
Every day from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., customers can take advantage of our happy hour menu, with 1/2 price appetizers, 1/2 price Wine by the Glass, 1/2 price Draft Beer, $1 off Bottle Beer & Well Drinks! Plus on Wednesdays we have $1 Smoked Chicken Wings during Happy Hour along with 1/2 price Wine by the Bottle all day.
Overall, the Everlys are happy with the way things are going. They’ve had a successful opening, the restaurant is busy, and our catering business remains healthy, and continues to grow. “We try to offer a full range of options for our customers,” Gwyn said. “We have a food truck, a sit-down dining experience, pick-up, and full service catering including Weddings! We are so thankful for everyone in our J. Render’s family. Call or stop in this weekend to reserve your spot on the patio and check out our live music schedule #seeyouatrenders
J. Render’s Southern Table and Bar is open from Monday through Thursday from 11 am – 8 pm, Friday through Saturday from 11 am – 9 pm & Sunday from 11 am – 9 pm
About Us Article Credit: Michelle Aiello