ALBANY — B.J. Fletcher is a businesswoman. And the first order of any business is to make money.
But when Fletcher, who represents Ward III on the Albany City Commission, opens BJ’s on Slappey Thursday, she will admittedly have ulterior motives.
“I love providing job opportunities for people in our community, and I love offering healthy food alternatives to people who live in an area that doesn’t have a lot of options,” said Fletcher, who also owns BJ’s Country Buffet at 2401 Dawson Road and BJ’s II at 2004 E. Oglethorpe Drive. “That’s why I’m excited about being a part of a south Albany neighborhood that has a lot of senior citizens.
“We’re going to offer dining options that will give diners fresh vegetables cooked daily, and we’ll have specials like meats, sides and bread for a family of four for only $20. I really want to make a difference in our community and in particular in this part of the community.”
Fletcher said the 703 S. Slappey Blvd. restaurant will be open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, will close Saturdays and will open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays. In addition to the family of four special, BJ’s on Slappey will sell blue-plate specials with a meat, two sides and bread for $8 and a full meal with meat, sides, bread, drinks and dessert for $9.25.
“And for people who are running late, if they are in the restaurant at closing time, we will sell take-out plates for $5 at 8 p.m.,” the restaurateur said. “We’ll offer around 13 or so fresh vegetables daily and also have fried and baked chicken, beef tips and rice, and hamburger steaks on the menu each day. We’ll cook specials on different days: pork chops, pig’s feet, chicken and dumplings, meatloaf, chitlin’s and ox tails on Sundays.
“After we’ve been here a while, we’ll figure out what our customers want, and that’s what we’ll give them.”
Fletcher said she is serious about being a part of the new neighborhood her restaurant joins.
“I’ve talked with the neighboring businesses — the tow truck business, the Dunbar brothers, Zay at Billy Boyz, the folks at the liquor store — and we’ve all agreed to reach out to the surrounding neighborhood once a month to have a cleanup event,” she said. “We’re planning to maybe have a free plate of food for the people who participate.
“We’re still working out the details, but we want to show the people in the area that we’re proud to be a part of their neighborhood.”
BJ’s on Slappey has limited inside seating and offers its “large-portion” to-go plates at the restaurant’s drive-thru window.