Foghorns Celebrates 10 Years in Business

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 132 views 

A popular “wings, burgers & more” restaurant in Fayetteville recently celebrated a decade of being in business.

Foghorn’s celebrated its 10-year anniversary March 19 — National Poultry Day, coincidentally — with beer specials and 50 cent wings the entire day.

Jeff Hodges, who earned an accounting degree from the University of Arkansas and is a certified public accountant, opened the first location in a former TCBY location on North College Avenue in 2004 with business partner Corey Gayer.

Hodges bought out Gayer’s ownership stake about six months into the venture and moved the flagship store last year from North College to a 3,000-SF building he bought for $322,000 that previously housed Mermaid’s, at 1815 Green Acres Road.

The second location, a leased space at University Village across from Baum Stadium, opened in late 2007, and last year underwent a 1,750-SF expansion to add seating for an additional 75 customers.

Those moves have given a bump to the bottom line. Foghorn’s surged to a combined $1.3 million in sales at its two locations in fiscal year 2013 — December 2012 to November 2013 — according to city tax records.

That’s up considerably from fiscal years 2012 ($964,100), 2011 ($936,600) and 2010 ($976,100).

Hodges said a good product, fun atmosphere and strong customer relationships have helped the restaurant thrive.

“We’ve got [customers] who have been with us since we opened the doors,” he said. “It’s been a fun ride. It really has.”

Foghorn’s has between 65 and 75 employees, Hodges said, and the restaurant’s three managers are all longtime employees. Two began with the restaurant as waitresses, the other as a dishwasher.

“We have a great culture, and that staff retention says a lot about how we treat people and the environment we’ve got,” Hodges said.