“I opened a restaurant that would seat 250 people. It takes a genius to do that in a town of 950,” Corry joked. “When we opened, I wanted us to offer something that the people around here didn’t have. I think we’ve succeeded in that because we have so many customers that are still here and have been here since day one.”
Corry calls the Bull Pen a “destination restaurant.” He said customers have come from across the United States and several other countries to dine at the Oakman eatery.
“With the restaurant being located here at Old York Farms, it gives people an atmosphere that you can’t get most anywhere else,” he said. “I’m just thankful to have loyal customers and employees. When you open a restaurant, I think you’ve got about a 50/50 shot at making it. We’ve made it because of the customers and the employees.”
The Bull Pen was opened only two years after Corry married his wife, Stephanie. Both work full-time jobs as well as running the restaurant — Bull at Walter’s Energy and Stephanie as a registered nurse for ENT Associates in Jasper. The couple have two daughters — 9-year-old Chloe and 4-year-old Cash.
“This restaurant is an extension of our family,” Corry said. “When you come here, we consider you to be part of our family. My daughters have been raised here.”
Chloe Corry said she enjoys helping around the business, especially cooking from time to time.
“I like to cook,” she said. “I’ve cooked hamburgers and even a steak or two when Daddy will let me.”
Although he has employed two capable cooks, Bull Corry is usually the one running the show in the Bull Pen’s kitchen.
“We’ve got two other great employees that have been here for years that cook as well, but I enjoy cooking so I try to be back here most of the time,” he said. “My mother was a great cook, and I guess I got my love of cooking from her.”
As well as being a sit-down restaurant, the Bull Pen also offers a drive-through barbecue pit and caters events of any size. Corry also teamed with local radio station owner Brett Elmore to start the Old York Opry, which can be heard January through August on the first Saturday of each month on Country Legends 88.5 FM.
“Now that we’ve added the Opry Room, our seating capacity is more than 300 people,” Corry said. “We’ve got more plans for next year, which will include adding some fun things at Old York. I’m very thankful for the businesses that sponsor the park and the opry.”
Corry is also offering smoked turkeys and hams for Thanksgiving and Christmas. He said Thanksgiving orders should be in by Sunday.
Corry joked that he hopes to continue running the restaurant for at least 40 more years.
“After that I will turn it over to one of the girls,” he said.
For more information on Old York Farms or the Bull Pen, call 205-622-3999.