Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Westwoods BBQ open in north Fresno

Westwoods, Borders 041Westwoods BBQ & Spice Co. is open, the newest big restaurant to catch Fresno’s attention. The restaurant took over the former Claim Jumper space at Blackstone and Nees avenues. Despite opening just last week, this one was packed last weekend.

The restaurant is a modern twist on barbecue. The meat isn’t drenched in sauce and there’s salads on the menu (check out the food pics on the Facebook page). So far, the burnt ends brisket, which spends 12 hours in the smoker, is a popular seller, along with the fried chicken and tri-tip. The Westwoods pastry chef tried 200 recipes before perfecting her cornbread. The owner and his chefs came up with the menu after a three-week cross country trip trying every barbecue restaurant they could find.

The owner is top Fresno restauranteur Dave Fansler. He’s the guy who created Tahoe Joe’s, Pismo’s Coastal Grill and Yosemite Ranch restaurants. He’s poured millions into revamping the Westwoods space so that it looks nothing like Claim Jumper — as in, knock-down-walls, tear-out-a-fireplace and relocate-the-bar kind of renovations. The restaurant is an homage to Fresno County and its farmers, so you’ll find plenty of ag-inspired details. The windmill out front was rescued from a Sanger property and the wood ceiling made from old barn wood, for example. You can see more details in this video.

The restaurant is half quick service – where you order at a counter and are handed a pager – and half full service, where a waiter or waitress takes care of you. One interesting tidbit: That pager never buzzes or lights up. It connects to a magnet in the table and uses technology that allows the server to know exactly where your food needs to go so you don’t have to get up.

Responses to "Westwoods BBQ open in north Fresno"

George B. Feist (DUKE) says:

Been there already….as soon as they get some kinks out I bet this place with be HUGE

Richard Parr says:

I found the tri tip to probably be the best I have ever had, an inch and a half thick and I cut it with my fork…and the gb3 salad, while healthy, was very tasty! I tried my buddies ribs, and they were amazing…thick and fell off the bone…and we split a burger…which was just as awesome! The service was fantastic, as it seemed each server only had 3-4 tables to satisfy! Having 20+ beers on tap to try is awesome too! I give this place a major thumbs up!

Ricferg says:

Without a doubt a few quirks in the beginning that will be worked out. Pulled porked had a excellent smoky flavor and was lightly sauced. Jasmine rice pilaf and GB3 slaw were very good. Thick tri tip steak was tender and delicious. I liked the medicine jar bottles of barbecue sauce and peppercorn sauce at the table. Waitress forgot the cornbread and two glasses of wine took 12 minutes to get to us, but that was forgivable for an opening weekend. Staff was friendly and never had that deer in the headlights look you sometimes see when a new restaurant opens. I’m hoping to find a dish at Westwoods that knocks my socks off, and I think it could be there. I’d like to see some some Mac and cheese on the menu, and maybe a can’t miss dessert like a banana pudding or something which reminds me of other barbecue places I’ve been. Overall, Westwoods BBQ is off to an excellent stop.

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