First, the good news. Woody’s Cheesesteaks owner Steven Renner did boffo business Monday at the iconic Monroe Drive business adjacent to Piedmont Park. He was sold out of steaks and even ice cream by 5 p.m. after sledders gobbled down all the food he had on hand.
However, he did it without his trademark Woody’s hand-painted signage commissioned by Coca-Cola and originally created by late Atlanta artist J.J. From L.A. in the late 1970s.
A Range Rover took out the sign just after the winter storm began in the city Sunday night.
“Let’s just say the driver proved what my college physics professor taught me,” Renner told Intel. “I’m just glad she missed the kitchen!” The driver was coming down an icy Virginia Avenue and attempted to make a right turn. “That didn’t happen,” says Renner. Still, Woody’s is all about customer service. A Woody’s manager drove the stranded driver home after the crash.
Renner says he called 911 but after learning there were no injuries, a dispatcher told him police response might “take a minute.” The luxury automobile remained lodged in the sign late Monday. Says Renner: “We’re thinking about just making it a part of the sign now since so many people are taking pictures of it today.”
Since taking over the Atlanta institution last year from original owner David Pastoria, Renner has prioritized a renovation of the sign. That timetable has now been pushed up.
He says: “The great thing is we’re going to be working with Coca-Cola again who commissioned the sign and we’re working with artist folks who help restore J.J.’s work as well.” (He’s also the artist behind Fat Matt’s Rib Shack’s famous signage).
Range Rover adornment aside, Renner says Woody’s will be back open Tuesday (albeit a little later than usual ) as soon as he can gather fresh supplies and drive his employees to work. Presumably, not in a Range Rover…