Meet the Family

Tommy Thomas & Jo Dee Thomas Jeans

Known as “The Grill Master Team,” Tommy and Jo Dee continue to carry the legacy of their family-owned business into a new era. With a fierce loyalty to the traditions and lessons engrained in them from their grandparents and founders Uncle Tom and Mama Jo, as well as the expertise and entrepreneurship of their father, Ippy, Tommy and Jo Dee continue to excel in all facets of the restaurant industry.

With their natural culinary talents and exuberant, welcoming personalities, Tommy and Jo Dee have perfected the combination of five-star cuisine with southern hospitality. Keeping the menu strong with family favorites while incorporating new flavors and specials, the brother/sister duo continue to grow the family business by pleasing the palates of each and every guest.

Sheila Thomas

Ippy’s wife and mother to Jo Dee and Tommy, you can oftentimes find Ms. Sheila in the Ippy’s kitchen cooking up your lunch order.


Raised in the restaurant industry by his parents, Uncle Tom and Mama Jo, Ippy knew the business inside and out. His entrepreneurism spirit garnered him many trailblazing accolades. He was one of the first to have an ABC license in the state and was also one of the first to have a 400 seater. And while he is no longer with us, Jo Dee and Tommy’s only wish is that they have made him proud by successfully carrying on the family name.

Uncle Tom & MamaJo

Uncle Tom is the founder of Uncle Tom’s BBQ and Gun Shop in 1919 on Franklin Road in Roanoke, Virginia. He, alongside with his wife, MamaJo, laid the foundation for Ippy’s Restaurant and Lounge, where they worked together for more than 40 years.