Wild West Adventures Barbecue to Open in Former Jake's BBQ Shack Location

The Dexter Village Council approved a two-year lease of the village's building at 8050 Main St. on Monday.

A new restaurant is opening its doors in downtown Dexter following approval from the Dexter Village Council on Monday.

The council voted 7-0 to approve a two-year lease agreement with Scot Thomas for the property located at 8050 Main St.

Thomas will open Wild West Barbecue Adventures, a barbecue takeout restaurant featuring homemade southern-style comfort food.

The building was previously leased by Bart Aniolczyk, who operated Jake's BBQ Shack before filing for bankruptcy earlier this year.

Village Manager Donna Dettling said the village received six inquiries to lease the space, including three food businesses, an insurance office, and a women's clothing boutique and gift shop. The village also considered using the building for public restrooms before ultimately leasing the property to Thomas.

"The deciding factor to award the lease to Scot is that he has an established business in Dexter with an established customer base," Dettling said.

Thomas and his crew have operated Chuckwagon Barbecue, a seasonal stand, next to the Dexter Mill for the past three years.

"The seasonal operation closes in October," Dettling said. "This will allow Scott to continue his operation all year."

The restaurant will offer its trademark barbecue sauces, dry rubs, and recipe books.

Dettling said a Vietnamese restaurant and a Mexican restaurant also were considered for the lease.

Thomas has a background in food preparation and store management with Bob Evans Restaurants and the International House of Pancakes.

Walter November 13, 2012 at 01:00 PM
So I was kinda happy about this until I got to the part about Vietnamese and Mexican restaurants were also considered. So instead of trying something new, the village manager and council decided to try another BBQ joint. And if you look at the council packet (page 135) from last night you'll see that the Vietnamese proposal came from Loan Joyce (Underground Salon) and the Mexican proposal came from Rob Doria (assuming this is the same Rob Doria of Bits & Pizzas). So one with a very established business in Dexter that's been there at least a year and another with one on the way. And I know the Doria's live in Dexter because I saw them over at Ritt on Sundays for youth football. I wonder if they got any credit for that? No disrespect to Scott Thomas, but local resident would trump "established business" on my scorecard, but they didn't use my scorecard to make this decision. All that being said, I wish Scott and crew good luck!
Marilyn Wilkie November 13, 2012 at 03:46 PM
This is great news. These guys have braved all sorts of weather to bring their great food to the town for the last three years. They deserve to have that space after operating out of the way for so long. I wish them nothing but luck and happiness in their endeavor. Vietnamese food, to me, has limited appeal, especially in a farm town. Bits & Pizzas (more pizza) has yet to show a track record. Bring on The Wild West!
Brian C. Shensky November 13, 2012 at 03:55 PM
I wish them luck, as I do like their tasty offerings. But I can't help but believe that 8050 Main St. has some sort of mysterious death touch for any who lease it. Perhaps they'll last if they retain their mobile efforts as well. We'll see.
alex demetriou November 13, 2012 at 04:14 PM
people. Good luck to the new owners but come on. What is this the 4th restaurant to try this location since the cop shop was there. Are these owners doing any kind of research before putting in a new one? They don't work because it is a horrible location, and i can make all of these dishes at my home for 1/2 the cost. Jakes bbq is bankrupted and u want to put in another BBQ restaurant. Are you stupid? Is the village of dexter stupid? YESS they are. Let the insurance agency use the space or anyone else that can actually make money and not cost us money in the long run when these guys file for bankruptcy to. Sorry to the new owners and i do hope you find success but chances are you will be sitting in a booth waiting for the phone to ring all day because this is a bad idea. AGAIN.
Rob D'Oria November 13, 2012 at 06:18 PM
While we were disappointed in the decision and may have found some fault with the process, it's hard to argue with the recommendation and the council's decision. When evaluating a business plan it has to come down to ability to execute, not whether or not someone is a resident or any other arbitrary considerations. Scott, good luck to you and your "barbecrew" (...feel free to use that if you want).
Rob D'Oria November 13, 2012 at 06:35 PM
I can't speak for Scott, but we certainly did research. Hazel's was doing very well there...they ceased operations for other considerations. And invoking Jake's "fill in the blank" incarnations as a measuring stick for whether or not a restaurant can be successful there is flawed...there are a long list of reasons why the "Jake's" businesses failed and they had absolutely nothing to do with the building, its location, or the Village. In the end you may be right, but not because you provided a compelling or thoughtful argument in your comments today. Instead of being dismissive of folks looking to invest in our community and questioning their sanity, we should all be thankful for their investment and wish them well.
Barbara Read November 13, 2012 at 06:41 PM
I never saw the mobile barbecue stand, so I'd say this is a better location for your business (or keep them both going). We moved here from North Carolina and I'm looking forward to trying your food. In the South we liked having some good cole slaw with our barbecue.
Pam November 13, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Wild West Barbecue Adventures, is great! They did an event at my home and the food is wonderful. A new location closer to town is a perfect spot. Their food is great and Scott's family is wonderful!
DexterMama November 13, 2012 at 07:52 PM
There are a few other spots for lease in Dexter, hopefully the Mexican and Vietnamese restaurants will persist and open up shop regarless. Us Dexter residents are ready for a bit of culinary diversity!
angelo pecora November 13, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Hey kudos to the Hotel Hickman Crew. To the naysayers and whinners...for Gods sake this isnt a Federal Election! Good Luck boys!
Marilyn Wilkie November 13, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Barbara, in my opinion North Carolin has the best bar-b-que in the world. I love their style. It would be great if some of that style could make it on the menu too.
Marilyn Wilkie November 13, 2012 at 09:27 PM
Rob D'Oria November 13, 2012 at 09:48 PM
The thing that was attractive about 8050 Main is it was previously a restaurant, so aside from being virtually turnkey you didn't have a change of use, so you apply for a foodservice license and your pretty much ready to go. You look at the old Dexter Pharmacy or other retail space in the Village and you're looking at a build-out and change of use, which is a completely different animal. You may have to bring the property up to code, you'll have to do plan reviews with the Health and Building departments, and then obviously spend the time and money to build it out. Basically, what we're doing at 8099 Main with Bits & Pizzas. If another turnkey or near turnkey opportunity presents itself we will certainly pursue it for our Mexican restaurant concept.
Cool Dexter November 14, 2012 at 01:20 AM
We wish the new BBQ place much success - as we did the previous location (and that BBQ night at the old Lighthouse). But honestly... we're REALLY looking forward to seeing some food diversity in Dexter. It's almost all pizza and pub grub (and BBQ chix and ribs is still basically pub grub, unless it's done REALLY well - which we hope it is!). Dexter is ready for a change. Mexican food? Great! Vietnamese! Even better - my family would have been on Cloud 9 if we could get a decent Be Bim Bop without driving into Ann Arbor. Oh well... Until then, we'll just drive into A2 - it's only 15 minutes away!
Cool Dexter November 14, 2012 at 01:24 AM
Correction: Be Bim Bop... should be Bun Bo! But Korean food would be terrific too... now there's an idea :).
Dexter resident November 14, 2012 at 07:48 PM
This is great news! We love their BBQ.
Moms Kitchen November 19, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Mr. D'Orio, you should make your new pizza place a Mexican place only. There's too much pizza in Dexter already.
Rob D'Oria November 19, 2012 at 04:45 PM
I don't know if there's too much pizza in Dexter or not...it's debatable. Regardless, that question didn't really factor much in our decision-making process. For us, it was really a question of whether or not there was significant room for improvement. We firmly believe there is.
Daniel Lai November 19, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Rob, Looking forward to your pizza place!
Marilyn Wilkie November 24, 2012 at 12:12 AM
You are kidding, right? " i look at that wagon and think of a time 100 years ago and there were no clean food techniqes. no bathrooms and diffinitly no sanitaion. " Anyway, I got got a good laugh out of your comments even if you weren't. "packaged ambience" my eye. Where di you come from?
Laura Jones November 24, 2012 at 03:15 AM
Ms. Sullivan - not sure if you meant to be so rude, but it sure comes across that way. Not a nice way to welcome a new business to town. Wouldn't it be better to take a comment like that directly to the business? Very unkind.
Kim McGrothers November 27, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Already hearing about this place and we live in Ohio. Can't wait to come to the state up north to try this place out...and that's coming from some die-hard Buckeye fans!! :-) Good luck Scott and crew.
Kim McGrothers November 27, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Amen to that!


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