Evelyn Mae’s BBQ Opens Restaurant on Redbud Trail
by Rebecka Hoyt, Editor & Photographer and Jen Garry, Publisher
Word got around quickly this month that a new owner has taken over at the former Wheatberry Restaurant located at 15212 N Red Bud Trail, which looks over the beautiful St. Joseph River. Mid-December you’ll be able to revisit once its all refreshed and it will then be called “Evelyn Mae’s BBQ” with the bar “Fifteen-2-Twelve” inside.
They plan to open up mid-December when their staff is fully trained and the building’s cosmetic touch-ups are finished. Owner, Anton Lockett showed our Publisher and I around, and all the excitement he has for his new restaurant was very apparent!
One of our first questions was how did they come up with the name of their business? Unfortunately his wife had miscarried their baby during the middle of a healthy pregnancy and Evelyn Mae was to be her name. To sustain her memory as it will always be a part of them, they included it as the business name which became an LLC. This particular location kind of fell into their lap, as the building’s contract from the previous owners fell through right around the time their offer on a different place also didn’t pan out.
They are planning to have the BBQ, a couple of features for a time with some different dishes, and see how it is all received and evolves. Anton stated they, “will establish a menu with apps, salads, BBQ, handhelds, entrees, and build the menu as we go.” He wants to do some tastings with the chef they hire, and also with their bartender/mixologist Jazmine, who he wants to take this bar and put her spin on it, along with the food, sports and good times. In their event space they will have a time for pairings of food and drinks where the chef can tell you about the food and the mixologist can explain how the drink pairs well with the meal.
Anton has a few past ties to the Buchanan area, as he grew up around nearby Benton Harbor, went to Berrien Springs High School, and is friends with quite a few Buchanan locals as well. They are planning to have a soft opening first to get started. A ribbon cutting ceremony is being planned for the future, around the grand opening time, once they are fully prepared.
Hours will likely be Thursday – Sunday, four quality days of great food and drink. Thursdays from 4pm – 10pm, Friday – Sundays 11am – 10pm, and “when you come in I want you to see the same staff every visit, and I want to build a team that gets to have a full 40 hours a week, also I want to not have much turnover, but also I need time to continue running the food truck. And this way each visit you’ll have us at our 100%,” said Anton. They will be open for the holidays as well as Valentine’s Day. Prices will be in the $$ range, reasonable and the experience will definitely be worth it.
All the taps will be local craft beers as well as domestic bottles, and a full bar for crafted cocktails. The brisket is their most high-selling meat with their food truck. Also popular choices are their pulled pork and deluxe mac & cheese. Is your mouth watering yet? They also hope to implement a Loyalty Program, more information will come on that later.
Evelyn Mae’s BBQ Menu will also be kid-friendly as his daughter loves to be around her dad, Anton.
“You will be able to come for a date night, family night, after hours with coworkers and friends. Fun, family-style place where you want to hang out and have some good drinks and you get to know the staff.” Anton said with a smile.
He will be changing the light fixtures, painting walls, a couple of chairs to redo, Servpro has been in cleaning, inspections are happening within the next week, they will be getting their liquor license after the inspections have passed and are hoping to be opening this mid-December. The past owners of Wheatberry left the place in good condition for him so they don’t have too much work ahead.
Stay tuned as we will be keeping our Buchanan community in the know on when they will be open and ready to serve you, as well as some more photos as work progresses!
About Evelyn Mae’s BBQ: Specialty Meats, Event Catering, and Homestyle BBQ. Coming very soon to Buchanan.
Catering and Food Truck based out of St. Joseph, MI