Sonnys BBQ

“We’ll no longer be a barbecue restaurant, but we’ll still have some awesome food, a terrific team and hospitality that is nothing short of excellent,”  Gardner said.

Gardner has not set an opening date for his rebranded restaurant, but feels that after 25 years in business in Rome he's got a pretty good idea as to what will relate to the palates of customers, new and old.

 Some of West End Grill’s offerings will include grilled chops, chicken breasts and premium burgers.

"We’ll be grillin’ and chillin’,” Gardner said.

The veteran restaurateur first took over an existing Sonny's in Homestead, Florida, in 1988. When Hurricane Andrew destroyed that location, Gardner moved to Rome and re-opened on Shorter Avenue in June of 1994.

“Sonny’s has been good to me and my family over the years, and barbecue will always be a passion of mine," Gardner said.  

Gardner has been very active in the community since moving to Rome, serving as chairman of the Chamber of Commerce Board on 2016 and president of the Rome Rotary  Club in 2012-2013.

Associate Editor Doug Walker contributed to this story