Thanks to exceptional drive and energy, Scott O’Brien has had nothing but success since opening the Beef O’Brady’s family pub franchise in Marianna on Dec. 14, 2009. Scott moved to Marianna from Central Florida to open the restaurant on Malloy Drive Plaza at the intersection of Interstate 10 and State Road 71. The TIMES visited “Beef’s” Friday morning and photographed Scott with three of his major employees, his daughter Salina and her husband Brandon Cornelius; and one who has been with the Marianna location since the beginning: Theresa Nguyen, whom Scott describes as “an incredible force.”
The franchise itself is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year; the Tampa-based corporation opened the first Beef’s in 1985. “In the last five years alone,” O’Brien explained, “the Beef O’Brady’s brand has seen incredible growth, even internationally. That is because of the great abilities of the president and CEO, Chris Eliot. There are more than 200 locations in the Southeast but we have restaurants in California and Minnesota as well as Saudi Arabia.”
The Marianna Beef’s is a success because of that brand which attracts interstate traffic and the local people who provide the regular customer base, O’Brien said. “The community has been a great part of it,” he said. “For me it’s been an incredible journey, the most fun thing I’ve ever done in my life. If you love your job, it’s not work.” One of the first things Scott did after the opening was to get involved with as many public school sports programs as possible. The restaurant often holds fundraisers for sports teams and charities in which portions of revenues from a certain day’s business are donated. Over the years, Scott has become a member of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce board of directors, the Optimist Club and the Chipola Sportsmen’s Club. He helped lead an effort this year that resulted in the Jackson County Commission lifting a Sunday alcohol sales ban in all the incorporated (non-municipal) areas of the county, which includes his restaurant. It was risky even opening a sports pub in a partially dry county, he explained, but Beef’s did become a success regardless. It’s just that since the ban was lifted in March, the restaurant has seen more than a 30 percent increase in monthly alcohol sales, Scott explained. That’s the kind of increase in revenues that can keep a business open, maintaining its tax base contribution to the county, and allowing it to hire more people.
In addition to the irresistible menu of entrees and sandwiches, Beef’s has on 15 taps the largest selection of draft beer in Jackson County. Nine of those selections are “craft beers” made by smaller breweries. Scott says craft beers are “taking off and becoming a huge industry.” The restaurant seats up to 150 and has a total of about 15 television screens showing a great variety of sports programming and other shows. The party room seats up to 40 and there is a fantastic game room for the kids.
Beef’s—Marianna, 4944 Malloy Plaza East, has 30 employees. For more info, call the restaurant at 850-482-0002 or visit the website at www.beefobradys.com.
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