A new restaurant in Davenport has found its recipe for success: Honor America, honor military members and veterans, and serve great meals.
“We’ve had a tremendous reception. The people of the Quad Cities have been great,” Casie Vogelsang, director of operations for Mission BBQ, said about the new restaurant that opened on April 26 in Davenport.
Built at 2815 E. 53rd St., the restaurant is the company’s 115th store and its first Mission BBQ in Iowa.
So far, the fast causal restaurant has gotten off to a fast start with big crowds showing up to try the sandwiches and other meals the past two weeks, added Mr. Vogelsang.
In fact, on a cool, rainy day last Friday, May 6, there was a line of people almost out the front door by 11:30 a.m.
The crowd was so large, that during a scheduled interview with the QCBJ, Mr. Vogelsang took a look at the line of customers and said: “I can give you five minutes, maybe eight minutes.”
The Mission BBQ leader added that it is the menu and service that brings people to the restaurant. He said some of the most popular items include the pulled pork and brisket sandwiches. The restaurant also serves pulled chicken, turkey, salmon, sausage, spare ribs and much more.
In addition to the food, Mission BBQ stands out from other restaurants with its service, Mr. Vogelsang said. The restaurant offers a hybrid of counter service and full service. People order and get their food at the counter. But employees assist customers, such as taking away trash and trays, when they get to the tables.
“Once people sit down, we don’t want them to worry about anything else,” he added.
Several customers at the Davenport eatery said they also like the interior decor of the new restaurant, which spans 3,500 square feet and has a seating capacity of about 110. Much of that decor centers on images of people in the military service, firefighters or police officers.
Photographs of aircraft carriers, the iconic flag-raising scene over Iwo Jima in World War II, soldiers, sailors, Marines, military unit patches and other scenes cover the walls. And on the door is an image of the U.S. flag with the phrase: “ALL RISE!” Stand as one. Because we can.”
That patriotic theme goes beyond the photos and slogans with a tradition every day at noon that Mission BBQ customers and employees stand and sing the national anthem.
“We do what we do for the love of our soldiers, firefighters, police officers, first responders – all our loved ones in service,” the Mission BBQ website says.
The first Mission BBQ opened on Sept. 11, 2011 – the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
“We strive every day to remind ourselves what makes our country great – heroes. … It started with two best friends patriotic for our country, passionate about BBQ and who believe in running a business with meaning and purpose,” according to the website.
Mission BBQ in Davenport has about 50 employees, and is hiring more employees.
The Davenport store is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. It can be reached at (563) 217-6822 or for more information, go to www.mission-bbq.com.