Anyone who has stopped in for a barbecue fix at the Slow Bone in the last few days may have noticed something amiss: Owner Jack Perkins has removed the motorcycle that was hanging from the rafters and all the photos on the walls.
That's because he has sold the place – to Slow Bone LLC, a new company headed by two top Eatzi's executives, Adam Romo and Jerry Meyer.
"It's a terrific brand, and we think there's a tremendous opportunity to take it to the next level," says Romo, who is also chief executive officer of Eatzi's. The new LLC, he explains, is owned by the same LLC that owns Eatzi's, "but it is not going to be a part of Eatzi's."
Perkins, who also owns popular burger joint Maple and Motor, opened the Slow Bone in April 2013. The following year, he hired Jeffery Hobbs— a former executive chef at Sissy's Southern Kitchen and Bar — to run the kitchen.
"Slow Bone's been a great restaurant," he says. "We're as proud of it as anything we've ever done and ever will do, but an opportunity came along to pass it along to people who we thought would take care of it, and we hope that they will. As long as things don't change markedly, I can't imagine why they won't be successful."
Hobbs will stay on, as pitmaster, says Romo. Customers are "not going to see any difference in the day-to-day operations. We just want to expand the business and offer more ways to enjoy great barbecue. One of the things they're not doing in any significant way is catering, and barbecue and catering go hand in hand." He'd also like to add a pickup window and increase the seating by adding a patio.
As for Perkins, it sounds like he won't miss the smoker. "All these people think barbecue is the holy grail," he says. "I just wanted to show that it's not genius — anybody can do it." He adds that his contract stipulates that he can't sell barbecue for two years.
No problem, he says: "I won't cook barbecue for 20 years."