The City of Effingham has named Gabby Goat American Pub and Grill as a recipient of the City of Effingham’s Business Appreciation Award.
“There are few people in Effingham who understand the bar business the way Jack Thompson does. He has a very good record of investing in underperforming bar & grills here in Effingham and turning them into high profile attractions. His current masterpiece, The Gabby Goat, is an excellent example. Try walking into The Gabby Goat on a Saturday night about 6:00 or so and asking for a table. They are typically packed. Thank you to Jack Thompson for his continued investment in Effingham… he and his team make Effingham look good and taste good,” stated Effingham Mayor Jeff Bloemker.
Nominator Ron Mietzner stated, “The Gabby Goat is more than just great food and drink. The wonderful employees absolutely pamper their customers and the owner, Jack Thompson, supports local business and gives his all back to our community.”
Gabby Goat American Pub and Grill opened in July 2012. Since its opening they have added a four season patio that is climate controlled with a louvered roof, expanded the kitchen, and updated kitchen equipment. Gabby Goat has also grown to 65 employees and over 75% of them have been employed at Gabby Goat for over two years.
Customer service is important to Gabby Goat. “We are unique in the sense that we do not have a standard approach to each table, but we let the server be themselves,” said Jason Gines, General Manager. “We also use a tablet system at each table which allows for the order to be put in instantly from the table so the customer wait time can be shorter. There are even times when an appetizer might reach the table before the server finished putting the entrée orders in.”
Gabby Goat is heavily involved in fundraising, especially for causes related to cancer. Every May they host a celebrity bartending event for Bark for Life, that is part of Relay for Life. They have also had team participate in the Annual Relay for Life of Effingham County for the past three years. Gabby Goat’s largest fundraiser is “Bras for a Cause” that was started by their dear friend LeAnn Schroder that lost her battle to cancer last year. For that event customers and employees decorate bras and they are auctioned off. Along with the auction is a five hour celebrity bar tending event. Through this event they have raised over $25,000 that goes to a local cancer center and the funds are distributed to young mothers battling cancer.
“Effingham has a unique opportunity for businesses in that it is a small community, so we get to know our customers, and they become our friends,” stated Jason. “Due to the location of Effingham at the intersection of two interstates and being the headquarters’ location of businesses, we get to meet many travelers from all over the country. That diverse influx of people allows us to offer a hometown experience to the locals, and a friendly environment to weary travelers.”