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, March 12, the 71st day of 2014. There are 294 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: Soldiers from the barracks on the Arsenal manage to elude the vigilance of the guard nearly every day and come to town armed. In the hands of excited and perhaps intoxicated men, these weapons are dangerous. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Manufacturing's merchants and professional men of Moline were petitioning the Western Union Telegraph company to establish a telegraph office in the business area of the city. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Three Rock Island students, the Misses Eleanor Cleaveland, Dorothy McCabe and Ruth West, escaped injury when fire destroyed College Hall at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. 1939 -- 75 years ago: The Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War gave a party for William H. Stremmel, the only survivor of John Buford Post 243, GAR. 1964 -- 50 years ago: The East Moline Grade School Board of Education last night granted salary increases totaling about $47,000 to teachers and staff members. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Five champion spellers from the Rock Island/Milan School district were selected after competition this week at Modern Woodmen of America. Winners are Sarah Cottay, Christopher Gilbrich, Jared Vogele, Kedric Roper and Kenny Stevenson.