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When pit boss Gary Prater, owner of Prater’s Bar-b-que and Catering, puts his name on a product, it has to be good.
“Our food is personal,” he said, taking a break from the remodeling work to get the new Manchester location open by mid-August. “It’s my signature. It’s my name. We like for everybody to leave here happy, because happy people make happy customers…and they will be back.”
Prater has put that philosophy into practice at his restaurant in Morrison for going on 20-years. Now he is expanding that business by adding a Manchester location on the Woodbury Hwy at the old Two Purple Pigs building.
“We thought we would try some new adventures, so I thought of Manchester here on the Interstate,” he said.
When the Two Purple Pigs location became available, it was a perfect fit for an expansion.
Currently renovations are in progress, starting with a change in the building’s purple color scheme.
Unusually heavy rains and scheduling problems have stalled the painting, forcing Prater to postpone opening from the planned Aug. 1 date.
“We planned on opening the first of August. Now it might be the first or second week,” Prater said.
The renovation includes new kitchen equipment and finishing the parking lot.
“We’re going to make everything look good,” he said.
Those familiar with the fare at the Warren County location, starting its 20th year, will find much of the same menu.
“We’ll be offering wings, the barbecue – the brisket and ribs, steaks and our daily lunch specials for those who are on the clock and have to get something quick.”
In addition to the more traditional barbecue cuisine, Prater’s offers broiled Cajun catfish and smoked chicken halves. Loaded baked potatoes and sweet potato fries complement the usual selection of sides.
Prater said what makes his barbecue stand out is the taste. That is his signature.
“You have to have something different. If you just took a Boston butt and smoked them on hickory like the majority of people do, everybody’s meat would taste alike.”
Prater holds tight to the recipe for his marinade, but said that it is essential to keeping the food moist.
“It’s all about your sauce,” Prater says. “We feel like it really accommodates the meat.”
Prater’s will specialize in a variety of beer, which like the food shows an individual flare, or as Prater likes to say, signature.
“You have new breweries popping up all over. They’re becoming very popular.”
He said that these mom-and-pop type breweries take pride in their products in much the same way that he cares for his.
Managing the Manchester location, Bo Womack will oversee much of the beer selection.
“The small batches aren’t like the large, mass production batches,” he added. “They have higher quality [ingredients], not cheap items in and cheap product out.”
Prater’s plans to carry local beers Ole Shed, made in Coffee County, and Calfkiller, from Cannon County, and a variety of others in addition to national brands.
Prater said that the restaurant would hire a staff of about 30 employees, including cook, host and wait staff.
Applications are available by calling (931) 205-7866.
Prater’s will be open seven days a week. Catering and lunch menus are available.