SILVIS -- A slowly cooked up idea to open a new restaurant specializing in barbecued ribs, brisket, pulled pork, chicken, and spaghetti has paid delicious dividends to its co-owners.
Jerell ''Mo'' Jones and Terrell Howard opened SmokeHouse BBQ, 917 Ave., Silvis, about seven months ago, after s five-month renovation and preparation process. Since then, they've had to add a half dozen more tables to accommodate a growing clientele, Mr. Jones said.
'"We started with four tables and chairs,'' he said. ''This has been a slow process, but has been worth it.''
Both men are 34 and from East Moline. They've been cooks for a dozen years, but the Silvis shop is their first restaurant endeavor, Mr. Howard said.
''What makes our restaurant stand out is our old family recipes and the love we put into our food,'' he said.
Generous portions of food at a fair price have been a big selling point, too, Mr. Jones said.
Prices range from a $5 pulled pork sandwich to a $25.50 dinner featuring a full slab of slow-smoked ribs.
Brisket dinners, from $14 to $18.50, include ribs and pulled pork in a ''meat-trio'' menu item, and have been particular favorites, they said. Barbecued spaghetti has been another huge hit, Mr. Howard said.
''And we like to say, until proven differently, we have the best ribs in town,'' he said, adding that they would love to ''take on all comers,'' to prove it.
Mr. Jones and Mr. Howard have been frequent food vendors at many local events, including Gumbo Ya Ya, Ya Maka My Weekend and the Quad-Cities Criterium in The District of Rock Island, as well as at the Rock island County Fair, Mississippi River Motorcycle Rally, Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, Rockin' Rib Fest and similar events.
They plan to participate in the Moonlight Festival and Parade event in Silvis, on Saturday, Aug. 25.
An event last year at the Racer's Edge in Silvis, helped them decide to open up shop in Silvis, Mr. Howard said.
''We were actually looking for a place in East Moline, since we've lived there our whole life, but found this place for rent, and grabbed it,'' he said.
Both men said city officials and neighboring businesses have been great to work with.
Next-door neighbor River City Sign Co. helped design restaurant signs and decals, and the owner of a El Molino hair salon across the street has done a wonderful job of referring customers to the restaurant, Mr. Howard said.
A wall mural painted by local artist Heidi Sallows includes the sign company in the picture.
The interior is painted in shades of orange and black, as a salute to United Township High School colors, Mr. Howard said.
Restaurant hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, Carry-outs are available. Deliveries to East Moline, Silvis, and areas east of the restaurant also are available for orders of $15 or more, Mr. Jones said.
Moline customers, though, soon may be in luck, Mr. Jones said.
He and Mr. Howard are planning to open a satellite location at a gas station at 3401 4th Ave., kitty corner to the Riverside Park Greenhouse, in Moline, from where deliveries will be made. No opening date for the second SmokeHouse BBQ site was available.
''Business has been doing better than expected,'' Mr. Jones said.
He hopes their customer base continues to grow and hopes everyone enjoys ''eatin' high off the hog,'' just as it says on the back page of the menu.
For more information, call (309) 281-1029.
What's on the menu?
Separates: -- Half-pound chicken -- Half slab or slab of St. Louis style spare ribs
Dinners: -- One pound smoked pork -- Beef brisket -- Barbecue half chicken -- Half-pound brisket and 4 ribs -- Half pork, half brisket -- Half slab and slab of ribs -- Meat trio: pulled pork, beef brisket, and ribs
Today is Wednesday, July 30, the 211th day of 2014. There are 154 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: After Sept. 1, every small box of matches will be required to have a 3 cent duty Lincoln stamp on it, and every large box will be one cent for every 100 matches. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Rock Island residents had contributed a total of $1,293 to the American Red Cross for the Johnstown flood relief fund. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Capt. Clark Means, new darkhorse twirler for the ARGUS staff, was in great form in his initial contest as a mound laborer. The result was that THE ARGUS trimmed the Union 6-5. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Hunter and Humprey Moody, young Decatur, Ill, brothers, lack only a few hours of establishing a new world light plane endurance record. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Gates of the 110th annual Mercer County Fair swing open tonight at Aledo for a full week of day and night activity. More that $36,000 will be paid in premiums and race purses. 1989 -- 25 years ago: The baseball field carved out of the cornfield near Dyersville, Iowa, continues to keep dreams alive for hundreds of visitors. Tourists from 26 state and France have visited Dan Lansing's farm to see the baseball diamond seen in the hit movie "Field of Dreams."