Pontiac — Slows Bar-B-Q is expanding into Oakland County with a new location opening late next year in Pontiac.
The Corktown hotspot announced on its website a new location adjoining Pontiac’s Strand Theatre for the Performing Arts.
“We chose Pontiac as the site of our first Metro Detroit expansion for the same reasons we chose Corktown,” Slows co-owner Phillip Cooley said in a statement. “It’s an underserved community with a defined identity and potential for an exciting evolution.”
Construction on the 6,500-square-foot restaurant is scheduled to begin in early 2015 with a projected grand opening in late 2015. The restaurant will open in tandem with the 858-seat Strand Theater on North Saginaw Street, which currently is undergoing renovations. The restaurant will be built by West Construction Services and designed by TDG Architects.
Slows will be a full-service restaurant open for lunch and dinner six to seven days a week, serving signature favorites and a broad craft beer selection heavily focused on Michigan brewers.
It also will serve as the theater’s food and beverage vendor during performances.
“We selected a food and beverage partner who aligns directly with our values, whose brand is synonymous with community partnership, and we’re ecstatic to have found that in Slows,” said Kyle Westberg, CEO of West Construction Services, The Strand Theatre’s owner and developer.
The partnership is part of $500 million invested into the city, according to the Slows statement. This includes the expansion of GM’s Global Engineering Headquarters and $40-$50 million in retail, restaurant and residential space.
The Pontiac Slows location will be the eatery’s third expansion outside of its original Corktown location, which opened in 2005. The restaurant expanded in 2010 with a to-go location in Midtown and plans to open a Grand Rapids spot in spring of 2015.
Located at Ionia and Logan, the Grand Rapids Slows locale will have a full bar and offer a menu similar to the original Detroit Slows.
"We started looking at Grand Rapids several months ago, and then the Downtown Market became a possibility," co-owner Terry Perrone said in October.
Grand Rapids’ Downtown Market is an indoor and outdoor cluster of high end and artisanal vendors.
"We're going to run it more market style, more like Texas-style barbecue," Perrone said.
This means more direct service, where the customer will order from the person cutting the meat. Plans are still being laid out, but Perrone said that Slows’ space in the Market will include a dedicated seating area with bar seating and likely long, communal tables.
Slows, which has been featured on a variety of food and travel television shows, also is working on designs for a food truck to aid catering in the future, said Perrone.