Phil and Jennifer Tolliver are opening Smokehouse 52 BBQ in the market's former space on Main St. The Tollivers are the former owners of True North Jerky Co. and the Bearclaw Coffee Company franchise in Oak Tree Plaza on Old US-12, both of which they recently sold to focus on the new venture. "It's going to be big-time, small-town barbecue," says Phil, who aims to open in November. Phil trained with Mike "The Legend" Mills in Illinois, a seven-time world champion of barbecue. "I knew that if I'm going to be the best in Michigan, I need to train with the best."
His idea for the restaurant evolved from his love of smoked meats and the couple's former jerky business. "Barbecue is right up there with politics and religion--everyone has their own idea about it," he says. His goal is to offer "the best from everywhere," including four or five unique sauces from different regions and beef, pork, turkey, and chicken barbecue.
Smokehouse 52 BBQ (opening in November), 125 S. Main St.