For 27 years, Wood Ranch has auspiciously operated its restaurants with an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” philosophy. But times are changing, and North County diners can analysis out the company’s new accomplishment to analyze a altered account archetypal for approaching locations.
On Wednesday, Wood Ranch opened WR Kitchen & Bar in the Square at Bressi Ranch arcade centermost in Carlsbad. The 4,000-square-foot, 140-seat restaurant offers the aforementioned wood-smoked barbecue meats and ancillary dishes that Wood Ranch is accepted for, but with an all-new amalgam account model.
In May, the Westlake Village aggregation formed out its aboriginal WR Kitchen in Laguna Hills. The Carlsbad area is its second. Wood Ranch co-founder Eric Anders said the two locations will serve as the incubator for the abstraction that will be fine-tuned over the abutting several months afore a planned amplification in 2020.
“The aliment speaks for itself, but we appetite to punch it in to area we feel actual assured with the account archetypal afore we move forward,” Anders said, in an account at the Carlsbad area on Tuesday.
The new abstraction doesn’t appulse the 15 absolute Southern California Wood Ranch locations, which are all operating successfully. But if the new abstraction proves acknowledged with diners — and so far it’s been a hit in Laguna Hills — the new archetypal will alter the larger, full-service restaurants in all approaching locations.
At the Carlsbad location, diners will access and adjustment anon from a counter. Instead of accepting a accepted access with best of two ancillary dishes like at Wood Ranch, diners can body their own meal from a card of appetizers, wood-grilled meats, banty and seafood, tacos, sandwiches and ancillary dishes. Anders said this fast-casual archetypal allows the aggregation to canyon on some of its activity savings, who will pay $1 or $2 beneath per item. And by “unbundling” the card into a la carte style, diners can adjustment as little or as abundant as they want.
Meals are delivered to the diner’s table and dining allowance agents will bushing bendable alcohol glasses and booty added drink, aliment and ambrosia orders at tableside application a point-of-sale iPad system.
“The ambition is that already the chump has ordered their aliment and sat down, they won’t accept to get up again,” Anders said.
Anders said the abstraction appeals to adolescent families and diners beneath the age of 40, but some older, longtime barter haven’t been as enthralled. The challenge, he said, is teaching diners that the affection of the aliment is the aforementioned as it has consistently been at Wood Ranch, aloof the commitment is different. Nonetheless, he said he’s accessible to suggestions, like possibly alms abounding table account on some evenings if appeal is there.
“We’re still experimenting,” he said. “Nothing is set in stone.”
Anders, a Washington, D.C., native, founded Wood Ranch in 1992 with Ofer Shemtov, a built-in of Israel, who he met in the backward 1980s aback they formed calm at an L.A. restaurant and were roommates. Their ambition was to actualize a casual, full-service American restaurant alternation for families who capital high-quality aliment at affordable prices.
In the year afterwards they opened their aboriginal area in Moorpark, the men formed 100-hour weeks until the restaurant was assisting abundant to appoint a manager. In 1995, they opened a area in Agoura Hills, followed by Camarillo in 1997 and Anaheim Hills in 1999. Today there are 15, including one in San Diego’s Mission Valley.
Anders said all of the restaurants do well. But aperture new locations doesn’t pencil out as able-bodied anymore because architecture costs are on the rise, forth with California’s minimum allowance rate. So, like abounding added restaurant aggregation owners, the ally absitively to abate the restaurant admeasurement and change the account abstraction for all approaching locations.
As allotment of the new abstraction launch, the card has been revamped with several new items absolute to WR. Alex Benes, administrator of comestible development for Wood Ranch, said 80 percent of the aliment items are the same, decidedly the wood-fired tri-tip, ribs, pulled pork, brisket, craven and salmon. Additionally appointment over are the chain’s accepted mac ‘n’ cheese, cole slaw, Brussels sprouts and several added sides.
New to WR is a card of taco plates featuring brisket, pulled pork, apricot or broiled cauliflower, served on a street-size tortilla with cabbage, a atom of mashed potato and Habanero acceptable BBQ sauce. There’s additionally a new cheeseburger with a arena chuck/brisket patty, elote-style pan-roasted corn, a brittle broiled addle cauliflower appetizer and a new beans compound that has three kinds of beans, tomatoes and chili peppers.
Barbecued proteins are awash a la carte by the quarter, bisected and abounding pound, starting at $7 for a quarter-pound of pulled pork to $20 for a abounding slab of babyish aback ribs. Individual or shareable abandon ambit from $4 to $10. Burgers and sandwiches are $11-$12 and taco plates are $11 to $14. The bar has 12 beers, abounding of them locally brewed, on tap. Wines are awash by the canteen in 5- or 8-ounce portions and by the bottle, alpha at $7. There are additionally seven custom affair priced from $8.50 to $10 and a alternative of American whiskeys, alcohol and arctic drinks.
The new restaurant has a take-out counter, accouterment account and commitment service, all of which can be ordered from the wrkitchenbar.com website. The restaurant additionally has a blessed hour from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays, with alcohol and aliment specials starting at $4.
WR Kitchen & Bar
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
Where: The Square at Bressi Ranch, 2668 Gateway Road, Carlsbad
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