Originally created 07/06/06

Sticky situation



Put the moist towelettes on standby.

Sticky Fingers, a Mount Pleasant, S.C.-based barbecue restaurant chain, will open its 17th location early this fall in the Augusta Exchange shopping center.

"We're big fans of Augusta. We've been looking there for a couple years," said Chad Walldorf, one of Sticky Fingers' three founding members.

Sticky Fingers specializes in Memphis-style ribs and boasts "an authentic hickory flavor." Menu items also include pulled pork, smoked chicken, salads and sandwiches.

The company also makes its own barbecue sauces, which are sold in 3,000 grocery stores across the Southeast.

Renovations are now under way in the former location of Stool Pigeons Coop & Grill off Robert C. Daniel Jr. Parkway. Before Stool Pigeons, the building contained bd's Stir Fry Grill and Don Pablo's Mexican Grill.

Mr. Walldorf said his company is investing $450,000 to renovate the restaurant and, at 6,950 square feet, it will be one of the largest Sticky Fingers locations. The restaurant could be open as early as Labor Day, Mr. Walldorf said.

The Augusta Sticky Fingers is the company's second Georgia location. The restaurant in Savannah opened in November.

The company was created in 1992 by Mr. Walldorf and friends Todd Eischeid and Jeff Goldstein.

The name Sticky Fingers is a tribute to the Rolling Stones album with the same name, and the Andy Warhol-designed album cover hangs in each location.

Sticky Fingers fans from Augusta have e-mailed the company asking for a location closer to home, Mr. Walldorf said.

Augusta resident Carl Story has eaten at multiple Sticky Fingers locations in South Carolina.

"Every time I go through Columbia or Greenville where they have restaurants, I try to eat there," said Mr. Story, who always orders the ribs.

The area also appealed to co-founder Mr. Eischeid, whose in-laws live in Augusta.

Joining the barbecue competition in Augusta isn't a concern for the owners, he said, even though the Augusta Exchange already has a Tony Roma's restaurant and a Famous Dave's is nearby.

"There's always room for a good Southern rib and barbecue restaurant in any market," Mr. Walldorf said.

Reach Tony Lombardo at (706) 823-3227 or tony.lombardo@augustachronicle.com.

STICKY FINGERS


Headquarters: Mount Pleasant, S.C.


Restaurants: Sixteen in Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida


New Augusta location: 277 Robert C. Daniel Jr. Parkway in the Augusta Exchange shopping center


Menu items include: Half slab of ribs, $13.00; full slab of ribs, $18.99; half slab and pulled pork, $15.99; barbecue pork sandwich, $6.99; original cheesy chicken sandwich, $6.99; grilled, barbecue or hickory-smoked chicken salad, $6.99

Source: Sticky Fingers Inc.