Slows Bar BQ to open in Grand Rapids Downtown Market

Posted at 6:36 PM, Oct 21, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-22 00:22:31-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. —It's a restaurant that's become synonymous with the Motor City and now it's coming to Beer City.

The Detroit-based and nationally renowned Slows Bar BQ joint announced Tuesday plans to expand into the Grand Rapids Downtown Market.

This will be the first restaurant to commit to the Market, and it will be Slows' first expansion outside of the city of Detroit.

Located on the market's southeast side near the corner of Ionia Avenue and Logan Street SW, the restaurant will be full-service and will feature a similar menu to the Detroit location. It will also have several dozen Michigan-based beers on tap.

“The Downtown Market is just the type of community-centered, neighborhood location that fits who we are,” said Brian Perrone, executive chef and co-founder.

“We are completely devoted to barbecue — studying it, making it, and teaching customers about the process. We are excited to join such a great group of artisans to create a friendly, welcoming, accessible and open environment.”

While the menu will still include many of the joint's slow-cooked menu classics, and there will still be dine-in seating, customers can expect a more informal setting, with walk-up ordering and a to-go counter.

“This way it’ll be more like the Market, with the same kind of flow, and so it seems like it’ll fit in really well," Perrone said.

Slows opened in 2005 in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood. Located near the city's long-abandoned Michigan Central Station, it has become a destination restaurant and has even received national attention and accolades. Most notably, the restaurant has been featured on the national television series "Man vs. Food."

Mimi Fritz, the president and CEO of the Downtown Market, said they're hoping to bring some of the Slows mojo to the west side, pointing to the potential to lure in more residential and retail growth in an around the market.

“One of the things that drew them to the downtown market itself was that they really felt it was extraordinarily similar to the situation they’re in now in the Corktown neighborhood," Fritz said.

Fritz said the entire plan took about three months to finalize. Market officials are still working to find a tenant to fill the other dedicated restaurant space at the north end of the building. Fritz said to expect an announcement about another new tenant in the next few weeks but wouldn't say whether it would be a restaurant.

Construction is slated to begin in January 2015, with an opening date set for the following spring.