By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.
LUDINGTON — David Diephouse is a believer in buying local. He is hoping residents of Mason County feel the same way when he opens his new restaurant, The Q Smokehouse, later this month. The restaurant is located in a brand new building at 225 S. James Street, the northeast corner of James and Filer streets, and will feature many menu items from Mason County and other parts of Michigan.
“I am a big believer in keeping things local,” David says. “Most of our menu items will be made from local foods.” This includes pork from Sanders Meats of Custer, beef from Ebels General Store in Falmouth and vegetables from various Michigan farms. Even the wood used for smoking will come locally from Hackert Farms in Riverton Township.
The Q Smokehouse has been a dream of David’s for a long time.
“I started out as a cook when I got out of high school,” he says. “I worked in restaurants for 15 years and then became an electrician for several years. Two years ago I started to get the itch to get back into the food industry.”
David grew up in the Grand Rapids area. His job as an electrician brought him to Ludington a lot, which is where he met his wife, Marie Quillan, a 1989 graduate of Ludington High School.
“Marie and I knew we wanted to be in Ludington,” David says. “We just didn’t think we would be here this soon. This has been a great opportunity for us and we are really excited to be part of the community.”
David says he looked at some existing options in the Ludington area but non really suited his needs. He started working on a business plan and presented it to some banks. What he came up with was The Q Smokehouse, which is based on a meat and three or a meat and two restaurant, which is common in the South. The customer choses one of the daily smoked meat selections and then either two or three side dishes.
His meat selections, all smoked over an extended period of time, will include smoked chicken, pork loin ribs, beef brisket, chopped pork and a featured weekly special.
“Naturally, we think all of our meats are going to be good, but I think the customers are going to be really surprised by our chicken,” David says. “I have a good feeling that this will become a local favorite.”
Sides will include choices of bakes beans, shells and cheese, roasted potato salad, coleslaw, macaroni salad, collard greens, apple sauce and a featured vegetable. Corn bread and biscuits will also be available. For desert: Pecan pie, chocolate chip cookies, candied bacon nuts along with a featured pie and a featured cookie.
To drink, what else but sweet tea? Other options are available as well.
The restaurant features sit down dining with ordering at the counter.
“While we will certainly appreciate the support of tourists, we want this to be a locals’ establishment,” David says. “We understand that at lunch time people want to get their food and move on. Ordering at the counter will mean the customer gets their food faster.”
All food will be served in to-go containers, but David emphasizes that the containers will be made from biodegradable or compostable materials. “This is an added expense but I think the long term investment is best for all of us.”
The Q Smokehouse will be open seven days a week, year round: Sunday through Wednesday from 11 a.m .to 8 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Find the menu at www.ludingtonbbq.com or call 231-425-3933.