The Damn Yankees Wings/Ribs and Oyster Bar on Almon Street in Heflin is hiring in advance of its opening around the opening of the high school football season on Aug. 22.

Dave Mogil, owner of the new restaurant, said he will be hiring an entire staff including managers, cooks, servers and dishwashers. There will be about 10 full-time positions and 15 to 20 part-time positions, Mogil said.

The restaurant will be a “sports café,” with an outdoor eating area and music, boasting seven or eight televisions and Dish Network and the SEC Channel, Mogil said. He’s hoping to attract football crowds after games and become the local hangout.

“This is going to be a hometown place,” Mogil said.

Mogil earned a bachelor’s degree in food service administration at Jacksonville State University. Next, he said, he went on to work in 28 restaurants and three hotels all over the country. He came back to Jacksonville in 1993 to open Diamond Dave’s Café. In 1998, Mogil opened Damn Yankees Steak/Fish and Oyster Bar in Anniston where he now lives. He said the food in Heflin will be less complicated and about 15 percent to 20 percent less expensive than the food he serves in Anniston.

With the location right on the highway, he plans to do more volume than in the Anniston restaurant, Mogil said. He will serve “high-quality food in a clean restaurant,” he added.

It was in June 2013 that Mogil first announced that he would be opening a new restaurant in Heflin. Although he had been looking to expand, it was a move he never contemplated before Heflin Mayor Rudy Rooks asked him if he was interested in opening in the old Huddle House. It had been closed about two years by then, said Shane Smith, Helfin city clerk.

“I came down just to be polite,” Mogil said.

But once he got to Heflin, he saw the potential in the location and he was impressed by the helpfulness of the local officials.

“They want to grow,” Mogil said. “They want to help you. They want good things for you.”

Even his neighbors, the owner of the Shell Station across the street and the Chevron next door, have been friendly and helpful, he said.

Smith said the city is excited to have a restaurant of the caliber of Damn Yankees in town.

“There’s a lot of people from this area that go (to Anniston) and eat,” Smith said.

He’s hoping that having Mogil’s new restaurant in Heflin will help keep them home.

Smith also noted that the restaurant might help the city woo another hotel. Any company that considers locating lodging someplace looks also for sit-down restaurants in the area, Smith said.

“It’s good marketing to have that,” Smith said.

Now that he’s made a commitment to Heflin, Mogil wants to be part of the community, he said. He’s hired local workers to do the renovations. He plans to hire local musicians and he eventually hopes to be a site for school fundraisers, Mogil said.

“It’s all about supporting the community,” Mogil said.


Honda Manufacturing recognized for air conservation

Honda Manufacturing of Alabama was recently awarded the Air Conservationist of the Year Award at the 2014 Alabama Wildlife Federation Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards banquet.  The Alabama Wildlife Federation held the banquet, co-sponsored by Alabama Power Company and PowerSouth Energy on Friday at The Marriott Legends at Capitol Hill in Prattville.

Over the past 40 years, the Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards have been given to individuals and organizations that make significant contributions to the conservation of Alabama’s wildlife and related natural resources.

Honda Manufacturing of Alabama installed new technology to control emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds and absorb carbon.   Even though more automobiles are being produced at the facility, the installation of the new system has resulted in a 60 metric ton reduction annually in volatile organic compounds.  The new system uses close to 20% less energy.  

New community relations director named at Legacy Village of Jacksonville

Nicole McGowan Smith has been appointed to fill the new role of Director of Community Relations at Legacy Village, an assisted living center in Jacksonville.

Smith, a graduate of Jacksonville State University, joins the Legacy Village of Jacksonville team with a background in sales and marketing. Among other responsibilities, Smith will lead Legacy Village of Jacksonville’s efforts to develop partnerships with local organizations that are focused on serving seniors, their families and the community.

“Legacy Village of Jacksonville is committed to being an active contributor to the Jacksonville, Ala., community. We are very excited to be a key sponsor of the first ever Walk to End Alzheimer’s in our area,” Smith was quoted in a release as saying.

The community-wide event, which will be held on Saturday, September 27, coincides with Legacy Village of Jacksonville’s new campaign to help families understand the impact of life-changing decisions when caring for an older loved one.

Staff Writer Laura Camper: 256-235-3545 or, in Heflin, 256-463-2872. On Twitter @LCamper_Star.