Jeff Lane and Doug Beatty stand inside 12 Bones on Main Street. David Grace photo.
KINGSPORT — The popular 12 Bones restaurant in downtown Kingsport will soon get a new name, expand its space, and increase its offerings.
Businessman Doug Beatty and his business partner, Jeff Lane, opened 12 Bones Smokehouse as a franchise of an Asheville restaurant in September 2007 at 242 E. Main St., across from the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce.
The restaurant specializes in ribs and pulled pork and chicken, as well as a unique offering of sides. It’s been a success. Now Beatty and Lane want to take the restaurant a step further.
“I just really wanted to do a Cajun-style music hall that served barbecue and played bluegrass and blues. I like the feel of everybody eating and drinking and music and dancing. And so when we had the opportunity to buy the building next door, we did,” said Beatty.
Beatty acquired the adjacent building from local businessman Bob Feathers, and he plans to expand the barbecue restaurant and begin hosting live music, such as bluegrass, blues and country bands.
The expansion plans didn’t sit too well with the 12 Bones franchise owners in Asheville.
“They were concerned that our concept had outgrown their concept,” Beatty said. “And so we’re just mutually agreeing not to be 12 Bones anymore.”
He expects to use the 12 Bones name for a few more months, until a new name is chosen and publicized.
Kanishka Biddanda, Beatty and Lane’s business partner who owns the Creative Trust marketing firm, is now working on rebranding the restaurant to fit its new role, and is expected to have a new name in a couple of weeks.
Beatty said the restaurant will continue to serve the same food — complete with barbecue and sides. And it will offer more choices in the future.
He said breaking away from the 12 Bones franchise will give the restaurant more options to offer patrons, including more menu items, live music, and catering, which the restaurant couldn’t provide under the old franchise agreement.
“We want the freedom to play to the Tri-Cities market and the Kingsport market, and not be bound by a franchise agreement,” Beatty said.
“This is going to be a good thing.”