Earl’s BBQ reopens for spring Friday

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, April 5, 2016

(Leader photo/TED YOAKUM)

(Leader photo/TED YOAKUM)

Beginning Friday, people passing the corner of Depot and Commercial downtown on the weekends will again be welcomed by the smell of smoked meat and tangy BBQ sauce.

Earl’s BBQ will reopen for the season Friday, resuming its usual hours of 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. every Friday and Saturday. Located behind Underwood Shoe Store on Commercial Street, the restaurant will once again serve ribs, rib tips, chicken, pork, catfish and other BBQ dishes, prepared by owner Earl Collins each morning in the giant grills located on the porch behind the establishment.

Collins temporarily closed the shop for the winter this season due to walk-up business slowing down, he said.

Opening in the summer of 2014, the Dowagiac man created the establishment to share his love of BBQ with the community. Having been grilling and smoking meat since he was 13 years old, Collins’ barbecuing skills have landed him with several awards over the years, he said.

“I just love barbecuing: the smell, the flavors and all the different stuff you can do with what you make,” Collins said.

Since the business opened, Earl’s BBQ has earned a loyal customer base, especially among people working downtown, who stop in during their lunch hours on weekends to pick up a quick sandwich to eat, Collins said. Other popular dishes include his signature rib tips or his Italian pork, a pork sandwich cooked with Italian seasonings, onions and peppers.

Collins is hoping to possibly expand hours during the summer and possibly opening on Sundays, he said.

“Just come in and try us out if you’ve never been before,” Collins said. “You’ll be licking your fingers when you leave.”

People can contact Earl’s BBQ at 662-907-5876.