When Tony Franklin and his fiancee Erica Moore heard that Driftwood in Washington was for sale they didn’t hesitate to make a bid.
“I said ‘Let’s go for it,’ ” Franklin said.
Moore noted the thought of owning a bar had crossed their minds before. She remembered Franklin asking her if she would like to own a bar someday. Moore was onboard.
The restaurant/bar has been operating under the new owners as of April 26.
Moore and Franklin met in 2008 at a company they were both working at in Philadelphia. For a long time, they were friends. Now, they’re engaged.
Moore has a background as a quality manager and in customer service. She even worked at Driftwood as a server and bartender when she first moved to the area from Philadelphia in 2015.
Franklin moved to the area in 2011. He’s originally from Glasgow, Mo.
“I was looking for a place small enough to raise kids,” he said, noting it also was important the area had a bit of nightlife.
Franklin has a background in marketing and finance.
The couple have a 5-month-old daughter together and Franklin has two sons, 18 and 16.
Franklin told The Missourian the live music and concerts on the weekends will not go away. However, the new owners are making a few changes.
They have begun implementing server training and training for consistency in the kitchen.
Moore will be helping with front-of-house operations and has been working on minor upgrades for the point-of-sale software.
The owners also are currently in the process of working on a new menu. They will have a soft launch of the new food items in the last week of May.
Franklin said they are hoping to offer as many locally sourced items as possible. They will continue work with the same head chef, Greg, who was there under the former owners.
Franklin said Greg is a world-class chef who worked under Jacques Costeau’s chef. He will be helping the owners create the new menu.
The owners already have added five beverages on tap — two types of Samuel Adams, the Pinckney Bend Gin and Tonic, Deep Sleep Racemic Red Ale and Crown Valley Strawberry Cider.
The couple is planning to host a grand opening in June, but are still working on the details.
They also will eventually offer Wi-Fi for Driftwood customers.