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Haleyville family brings a new “Tradition” to city

The city of Russellville recently gained a new option for dining out when veteran restaurant owners Wayne and Mellissa Tucker officially opened Traditions Barbeque on Jan. 24.
The Tuckers said business at the restaurant, which is located on U.S. 43 next to Burger King, has been good since they opened their doors and started welcoming customers to try their slow-cooked, hickory-smoked pork, chicken and turkey.
“We have had a great response from the community so far,” Mellissa Tucker said.
“Everyone has been very positive and welcoming, and we’ve already had lots of returning customers.”
The Tuckers got their first taste of the restaurant business in the fall of 2009 when they opened Family and Friends Barbeque in Haleyville, but Wayne Tuckers’ love for cooking started several years before then.
Before he jumped into the restaurant business, Wayne Tucker said he ran service on mobile homes – a job that involved a lot of travel and kept him on the road for a couple of weeks at a time.
“When he was home, all our family and friends came over to our house and that’s where we all hung out,” Mellissa Tucker said. “We started cooking for everybody and everybody always loved the food.”
Pretty soon, Wayne Tucker was hauling his smoker with him on the weekends and cooking for different events.
“Smoking meat and cooking for people was just something I enjoyed,” Wayne Tucker said. “I love to see people enjoy the food that I cook for them.
“For about 10 years, Mellissa had been telling me I needed to just open a restaurant and she really started pushing me to do it once I started cooking for people on the weekends.
“My friends all encouraged me to do it and finally, I just listened to them and decided we’d give the restaurant business a try.”
The Tuckers opened Family and Friends Barbeque in Haleyville in the fall of 2009 and they said business was great.
“We had a lot of loyal customers and many customers who would be driving through and would give us a try and end up coming back to see us,” Wayne Tucker said.
He said they had a pretty solid base in Haleyville and many places south of the city, but he noticed they didn’t have many customers farther north.
“We started thinking about opening a second restaurant and it just made sense to come to an area that hadn’t been able to try our food and where we could have a new customer base,” Mellissa Tucker said. “We thought it would be good to branch out.”
She said when the building they are currently in became available for lease, they thought it would be the perfect place for their new restaurant and they actually began leasing the building this past fall.
But even though the plan was to open a new restaurant and still keep the original restaurant open in Haleyville, several factors made it more apparent that that might not be the best plan.
“We began praying about the second business and whether or not it would be the best idea and what we needed to do,” Mellissa Tucker said.
“We finally felt like closing the restaurant in Haleyville and opening up in Russellville was the best thing for us to do, so that’s what we started working towards.”
After many prayers, a lot of hard work, and several renovations to the building that used to house a local pharmacy, the Tuckers were finally able to get Traditions Barbeque established in the city of Russellville.
“We still have some things we’re working on, like our extra room that we plan to have available for parties and large groups that are looking for a place to meet,” Mellissa Tucker said.
“We are definitely excited to be here,” Wayne Tucker added.
“Our focus has always been on the quality of the food. We said from the very beginning if we couldn’t offer a quality product then this business wasn’t worth having, and that’s what we’ve stuck to.
“All of our food on the main menu is homemade, and we take a lot of time preparing our food and making sure the taste is something our customers will want to come back for.
“Our smoked hot wings take six hours to cook and our angus brisket takes 20 to 24 hours, so you know we’re putting in the extra legwork to make sure it comes out just right, and so far the folks around here have really seemed to enjoy it.”
Traditions Barbeque is open Thursday – Saturday from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.
They offer a wide variety of food from loaded “taters” to a variety of sandwiches to nachos to fried pickles to pulled pork to smoked chicken to St. Louis ribs to smoked corn on the cob. Plates are also available to go by calling 256-332-4425.
“We have a little something for everyone to enjoy,” Wayne Tucker said.
“We welcome all feedback and we look forward to serving the people of Russellville for a long time to come.”