Food Service & Agriculture, Real Estate, and Retail

Barbecue restaurant coming to downtown

December 6, 2019
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Sparks BBQ
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Downtown Grand Rapids’ Arena District soon will be welcoming a new barbecue restaurant.

Dean Sparks, owner of Sparks BBQ in Traverse City, has purchased the former Lucky Luciano’s Pizza restaurant space at 15 Ionia Ave. SW, Suite 140, and is in the process of remodeling the space to become a second Sparks BBQ location.

Sparks is a “self-taught pitmaster” who says on his website he “perfected the craft” of barbecue over the years before opening his business.

“The company started as a food truck five years ago and has grown every year to meet demand,” Sparks said in a post on Facebook. “At Sparks BBQ, we use 100% wood-powered smokers to produce the best Texas-style barbecue this side of the Mississippi.”

The restaurant will be located between HopCat and Grand Rapids Brewing Company, near Van Andel Arena.

Sparks took possession of the space Nov. 1, began demolition and renovations Nov. 6 and expects the restaurant will open “soon.”

Job interviews are being held today, Dec. 6, for positions including hosts, wait staff, bartenders, cooks, pitmaster and dishwashers. Those interested in applying can email, according to the restaurant’s Facebook page.

Sparks BBQ serves barbecued meats by the pound and a la carte; as well as sandwiches, appetizers, salads, sides, specialty entrees and desserts.

The restaurant will have a full bar serving beer and wine.

Sparks BBQ offers dine-in, carryout and catering services.

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