After three years in Lowell, Main Street BBQ is opening its second location and there may be others to follow.
The popular BBQ spot has found a home in Grand Rapids at 1539 Plainfield NE, where it will operate an express location.
“For a while, we were trying to duplicate our Lowell location, with a full sit-down concept,” owner Erin VanEpps said. “It isn’t easy to do if you want everything just right. BBQ lends itself to a carry out concept. We switched gears and are now focusing on take-out spots around West Michigan.”
VanEpps said though the concept is different, the menu will be almost identical to the sit-down restaurant. And VanEpps said she plans to listen to what her customers want.
“We currently have an amazing ramen bowl that we offer in Lowell on Sundays only. I wasn’t planning on bringing that to Plainfield but I’m already getting some grumbles about not offering it. So, I think we will have to add it,” she said.
The express location will also benefit from a pressure fryer (or broaster). “So not only do the Creston residents get amazing 100 percent wood fired BBQ, they are also going to have incredible fried chicken,” VanEpps said.
While the restaurant doesn’t have any seating of its own, VanEpps said Main Street BBQ has partnered with Quinn and Tuites Irish Bar for deliveries. “We will deliver into Quinn and Tuites Irish Bar, next door. People can order online and we will walk it over.”
Delivery will also be available through UberEATS and catering is available.
While her initial vision was to open a second sit down restaurant, VanEpps said the express concept fits into the neighborhood and millennial diners desires.
“Millennials love take-out and convenience. We expect to be very busy,” she said.
VanEpps has a long history in the restaurant industry, previously working for independent and corporate restaurants in various roles. She decided to open Main Street BBQ three years ago after gaining experience and the “confidence to pursue such a risky venture.”
She settled on barbeque after finding the right building. “We found the location first. I fully believe you need to give a community what it wants and needs, not your own concept and force it. Fill a void and they will come. Approachable food made from scratch and at a value. This is what we felt the Lowell community would respond to. And they have. We feel very fortunate about our success and an amazing community that has backed our concept.”
VanEpps hopes to open the doors to the Plainfield location mid-April.