Local restaurant to expand to Petal

By NIKKI SMITH,

This fall, the City of Petal will welcome a new eatery, which will offer more variety to its residents. Variety is not the only thing Sully’s will add to the Friendly City, as it will bring with it 35 to 50 new jobs.

Brian McLelland, co-owner of Sully’s, said work has already begun on the building, and they plan to have it ready for finishing touches by October.

Sully’s, which will be housed in the Summit shopping center off Evelyn Gandy Parkway, is projected to open by early November.

Mayor Hal Marx is excited about the new addition, as it will serve up something different to Petal residents.

“Sully's will be a great addition to Petal,” Marx said. “It will give our citizens the opportunity to enjoy a great steak, right here in Petal. We have other restaurants that offer good steaks, but this will be the first restaurant that specializes in steaks.”

McLelland said the new restaurant will feature the same menu as the Hattiesburg location.

“Our steaks, burgers, seafood, pastas and original creations will stay the same,” he said.

The Hattiesburg location has seen rapid growth over the past few years, according to McLelland. He said they have discussed over another location for a while now.

“We've considered a few different areas, with Petal being one of them, because of the growth the city of Petal is seeing,” McLelland said. “With Petal being close enough to us so we can feel good about maintaining the quality of our brand, which made it seem like a good option. Then one day we were approached by one of our regulars and good friends about putting a Sully's in one of his new developments, so we visited the location and immediately knew we had found the spot for Sully's No. 2.”

Marx echoed McLelland’s comments about the success of the original Sully’s and the idea that Petal would make a great home for the expansion.

“I know a lot of folks from Petal who drive to the Hattiesburg location of Sully's for steak,” Marx said. “Now, they can stay right here at home, and our city will benefit from the sales tax collection.”

The planning phase for personnel has already begun. To ensure a smooth transition, McLelland said right now they are considering sharing some of their kitchen staff with both locations for a while.

“We will more than likely share some of our cooks and kitchen staff with both locations until we build a solid core at the new location,” he said. “Folks looking to work with us can expect to see the ‘now taking applications’ advertisements mid to late September, but we have an application link on our website if they'd like to go ahead and send us their info.”

The new restaurant will seat between 180 and 220 guests.

“The only real complaint we hear about Sully's is the wait time,” McLelland said. “I can't lie though, that's the one complaint we as owners are ok with, and it's exciting to see folks literally ‘tailgating’ outside with their own foldable chairs and music players while waiting to be seated at our place, but we would love to speed up that process.”

This is why they saw the need for a new location, as the current one has been “expanded to the max,” according to McLelland.

“We hope it does alleviate some pressure at our current store and free up more seating for the folks we see turn around and leave when they hear the wait times,” he added.

In addition to offering the same menu, the restaurant will also have identical hours of operation as the original location. Sully’s of Petal will open Monday through Wednesday at 11 a.m. and close at 10 p.m. On Thursday through Saturday, the restaurant will open at 11 a.m. and close at 11 p.m.

While the current atmosphere of Sully’s is a restaurant with live music, McLelland shared that the original concept for the establishment was a live music bar that happened to offer great food. “It just took some time for us to realize we should be a restaurant that has live music,” he said. “Music is something that is very important to all three of us, and we believe the atmosphere is just not the same without it,” McLelland said of himself and the other two owners.

Their plan is to have live music every night the restaurant is open.

“The music is laid back, fun, but not too loud or overbearing,” he said. “It's just that we'd rather feature great local talent at our establishments than listen to the radio.”

The musicians typically start between 6 to 7 p.m. and end around 9 or 10 p.m. McLelland said the music may go on longer on the weekends, but they never charge cover.

“One of the things besides our food and service that we are complimented on is our atmosphere,” McLelland said. “The folks who frequent Sully's know they can come in with their work clothes on, stop in on the way home from the lake or get fancied up and dine with their valentine. We have a saying we've been saying since we got started almost 6 years ago, and that's: ‘We're not real fancy, just really good.’”

McLelland said what they mean by that is they just want our customers to come in to have a great experience and enjoy themselves.

“Our atmosphere is very laid back, easy going and our main goal is for our customers to leave us planning their next visit,” he said. “We look forward to meeting our new neighbors, and we are beyond excited to become part of the Petal community and hope to be here for a very long time.”

The new restaurant will be located at 1272 Evelyn Gandy Parkway in the Summit shopping center.

For more information or updates on the opening and job postings, visit the Sully’s Facebook page or the website ilovesullys.com. Job applications are also featured on the website.