Around back at Opie’s BBQ in Spicewood is a contraption like none I’ve seen at a barbecue joint. They call it Woody, and it feeds mesquite logs into the fire at night.

Kristin Ashmore is the co-owner of Opie’s. She lives close to the restaurant, so one of her duties was to feed the fire every few hours during the night. Her father took enough pity on her for all the interrupted sleep that he built Woody late last year. Through a series of pulleys, ramps, and a garage door opener, the metal ramp in the photo below is lowered.


Opies Woody 04


Every couple of hours through the night, an automatic timer meant for a sprinkler system triggers the motor for the garage door opener. That motor releases a pulley that causes the metal shoot to drop, and a log of mesquite wood rolls down into the open door of their Oyler smoker. When the shoot raises back up another piece of wood loads into it. Now Kristin sleeps a little easier while Woody takes care of the night shift. No word yet on whether Woody is one of a kind, or if her dad is willing to take on additional customers. I just hope he got a great Father’s Day gift this year.