Slows Bar BQ caught lightning in a bottle when it opened in Corktown nearly a decade ago. It reached profitability. It grew. It became a media darling, and its partners became the poster children of Detroit success in the 21st Century.
Lots of people want to import Slows magic to their corner of the world. The co-owners get inquiries from across the U.S. and around the world.
"I got one from a guy in Dubai," says Brian Perrone, executive chef & partner with Slows Bar BQ
and its takeout location, Slows To Go
. "It's been happening for a long time now."
And they turn them all down. That is until they saw a potential spot in western Michigan's most dynamic downtown and pulled the trigger on launching Slows Grand Rapids next spring. The Grand Rapids location will consist of a new, full-service, barbeque restaurant inside the Grand Rapids Downtown Market
. It will feature a similar menu to the Detroit restaurant, including brisket, ribs, pulled pork, smoked turkey, and jambalaya, along with several dozen Michigan-based craft beers on tap.
"We weren't really looking for an opportunity out there," says Perrone. "This opportunity fell in our lap. We toured the building and were blown away by the space."
Slows opened in 2005 in Corktown. It opened its take-out facility in Midtown (Slows To Go) n 2010. It also has a satellite operation in Ford Field. Since then the companies under the Slows brand have grown to employ 163 people in Corktown and Midtown, hiring about 50 people over the last year alone. Slows' Detroit operations currently have five positions open, which can be found here
. Perrone expects the Grand Rapids location to easily employ a couple dozen more people when it opens.
Perrone and his partners have purposely taken a slow approach toward expanding Slows over the years. The idea is that taking it slow helped preserve the magic it originally caught a decade ago.
"We didn't want to expand too quickly and lose anything," Perrone says. "We wanted to take our time with it."
Source: Brian Perrone, executive chef & partner with Slows Bar BQ, Slows To Go, and Slows Grand Rapids
Writer: Jon Zemke