Red Bay steakhouse still going strong

By Staff
Nathan Strickland
The only remaining steakhouse in Franklin County is still thriving, serving people from several parts of the country.
Gill’s Grill in Red Bay continues to survive in a slumping economy, which has been the key factor that has driven other former existing steakhouses inside county lines to shut their doors.
Kelley Logan and Heath Gillespie co-own the small, cozy restaurant located on Golden Road near downtown Red Bay.
The two purchased the property and opened it as O’Bryan’s Steakhouse in 1998. They decided to drop the corporate name for financial reasons and re-opened, taking the first part of Heath’s last name and calling it “Gill’s Grill” in 2008.
Gillespie has branched out since then, opening another restaurant in Muscle Shoals called “Gill’s Family Steakhouse,” while both have kept the one in Red Bay open, going on its 12th year of service.
Gillespie has relinquished some of his power at the eatery in Red Bay, handing over some of the managing responsibilities to his cooking manager Rickey Garrison, who has been working at the steakhouse for around nine years.
Logan said one reason she believes Gill’s has survived through the years is because of the teamwork.
Logan, 32, has been in the restaurant business since she was 15 years old and said she just enjoys talking and getting to know people and that’s what has kept her in the food business for all these years.
Garrison said that cooking for the public is no easy task.
Garrison said a lot of people from up north come to town to get their motor homes worked on at Tiffin’s and decide to stop by for a bite to eat.
Logan said a lot of memorable customers from out of town have found their way to the restaurant, but it is the local people who have really kept the steakhouse alive.
Gill’s Grill currently employees 23 people and has established itself as one of the only places folks can go to get a steak hot off the grill in Franklin County.