After years of working in the restaurant industry, Emily Yamanaka said when the chance arose to run her own eatery, she jumped in head-first.
“I just kind of dove into barbecue, trying to figure everything out and having fun with it,” she said. “It’s something different and unique and a great challenge. That’s what I’ve always loved about the restaurant business.”
Hogwood opened in the Cool Springs area last May, offering a menu focused on artisan meats and unique side dishes. Yamanaka said the area was chosen not only for its proximity to Nashville but because of growth in the area.
“[The area] still has kind of an urban-suburban feel, and the growth in Franklin and Nashville has been astronomical, and we just felt like it was a great location with plenty of traffic. The demographic is right, and it gave us an opportunity to grow.”
Meats are smoked in-house for a day prior to being served, and sides, such as macaroni and cheese and Hatch chile cheese grits, are made fresh daily, she said. The Colorado Sandwich, which features brisket, jalapenos and a spicy red sauce, has become a customer favorite, she said.
“We slow-cook everything—we start smoking at about 3 or 4 and it goes until the next day,” she said. “Everything’s made fresh. We use 100 percent certified Angus beef—no MSG, no artificial flavors. We really strive to keep everything artisan and as simple as possible.”
Hogwood’s barbecue style is closest to that of Texas, which inspired its brisket, Yamanaka said. Chef Michael Marcee—who operates a barbecue business by the same name in Crested Butte, Colorado—designed the menu. However, the eatery also offers pork ribs and serves a white barbecue sauce, most often found in the Alabama area, she said.
The eatery’s sauces, also available in original red and spicy versions, can be purchased by the bottle.
In the future Yamanaka said she hopes to expand business by increasing catering and event services and ultimately open a second location of Hogwood.
“We really want to dive into the community and do events as well,” Yamanaka said. “Getting to know more people [and]being able to set down roots here has been really great.”
600A Frazier Drive, Ste. 100, Franklin
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-8 p.m., closed Sun.