The Rapidian

Restaurant opening brings new barbecue style to Grand Rapids

Friends by chance, business partners by choice: Two Scotts Barbecue wants to bring flavors of the south to Michigan with their restaurant.

/Bryan Esler

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Contact Two Scotts Barbecue

536 Leonard Street

Grand Rapids, MI 

(616) 608-6756



/Bryan Esler

/Courtesy of Two Scotts

Scott Hartmann and Scott Luecht, the owners of Two Scotts Barbecue, have plans to open the restaurant in March at 536 Leonard St. 

The restaurant will offer what they have dubbed a new “Michigan” style of barbecue. All of their meat will be dry-rubbed and served as such, but there will be self-serve homemade sauces to pair with the dishes. Their own Michigan barbecue style has been influenced by a little bit of everything: Memphis, Kansas City and Texas styles. 

Luecht and Hartmann originally met through a mutual friend while working together at a restaurant in Ada. 

Hartmann had a day job but his passion was in barbecue; he got laid off and began to improve his formal cooking skills by working as a prep cook at the same restaurant as Luecht. Luecht, who attended culinary school in Chicago, had been working as a sous chef for over 10 years in multiple restaurants around the Grand Rapids area. 

Hartmann, who grew up in Kansas City, originally had the idea of opening a barbecue restaurant and approached Luecht about the idea two years ago. The two got to work, seriously working on the restaurant about a year ago. 

“Our backgrounds are perfect to meld together and create a pretty good restaurant team,” Luecht says. 

Two Scotts Barbecue was born. The name of the restaurant came from the shared names of the two owners.

Starting off with a small menu, the restaurant will serve seven main dishes as well as a platter and six sides. In the future, they are hoping to do weekly specials and possibly offer gluten-free options.

“We want it to be delicious every single time,” Luecht says. “We’re having a small, compact menu so we can perfect it.”  

Everything that Two Scotts will serve will be made completely from scratch and to-order. The trend among many barbecue restaurants is to have a cafeteria-style set up, with sauces and sides pre-made and ready to go, but Luecht says that it’s important to them that everything is made for each order. 

That means that meat will be smoked every single day and sliced as it is ordered, not beforehand. Their sides will be to order as well, so no food will be sitting under steam wells waiting to be served. 

In addition to barbecue and sides, Two Scotts will be offering draft root beer so as to pay homage to the building’s history of being an A&W stand. Of the two taps, one will always be a craft root beer that Luecht hopes to source locally, while the other will rotate between other craft sodas.

The building is across the street from Mitten Brewing Company and the future Long Road Distillers, so Luecht says that they didn’t want to compete with that by serving alcohol.

“In the end, our main goal is to make really delicious food, do it all from scratch, friendly quick service and really be a part of the neighborhood and the West Side community,” says Luecht. 

There will be indoor seating for guests and patio seating in the summer, but the restaurant will operate on a counter-service basis, a classic trait of many barbecue restaurants. 

Though the two Scotts have not decided on an opening date, they both predict it will be in March. 

“We want our grand opening to reflect the quality of our food and service,” says Luecht. “We just want to make sure that we have the product that we want out there from day one, minute one.” 

For updates about the restaurant’s opening, daily specials and other goings-on, Luecht says they try to update their Facebook page as often as they can.

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