Category: Places to Visit

Chris Lilly from Big Bob Gibson's

Chris Lilly from Big Bob Gibson’s

May 14,2016 is the final push.  Here is what you could win.

May 14,2016 is the final push. Here is what you could win.

Chase Creek Smokehouse is the final stage to send off our 9 month effort to send bbq to our loyal soldiers, airmen, marines, and navy/coast guard seamen.

One May 14th we are all headed to Chase, MI for the Blessing of the Bikes weekend fund raiser to get our last push to win. Here are some of the items you could win while eating great food with us:

On display now at Henry dealer Al & Bob’s Sports on S. Division in Grand Rapids, MI.
.30/30 & a Brass with Octagon Barrel
Action Type Lever Action
Caliber .30-30
Capacity 5 rounds
Length 39″
Barrel Length 20″
Weight 7 lbs.
Stock Deluxe checkered American walnut with rubber buttpad
Sights Fully adjustable semi-buckhorn rear with brass beaded front
Features Swivel Studs
Model Number H009B
Weight 8.3 lbs.
Stock Straight-grip American Walnut with buttplate
M.S.R.P. $950.00

.45-70 Lever Action Octagon
Model Number H010B
Action Type Lever Action Repeater
Caliber .45-70
Capacity 4 rounds, Brass drilled and tapped for a Weaver 63B mount
Length 40.4″
Barrel Length 22″ Octagonal, 1:20″ Rate of Twist
Weight 8.10 lbs.
Stock Straight-grip American Walnut with brass buttplate
Sights Fully adjustable semi-buckhorn rear, and brass beaded front sight
Receiver Brass drilled and tapped for a Weaver 63B mount
M.S.R.P. $950.00



From Gerrit’s Appliance
The Timber Ridge Backyard Host

Rather than take up more precious counter space, the Timber Ridge Backyard Deep Fryer ($700) can provide you with golden brown deliciousness anytime you want on a massive scale, as long as you don’t mind cooking outside. Thanks to push-button electric ignition, it’s dead simple to use and there’s no need to have fire on hand. The company’s signature Clean Flow oil-filtration system also lets you reuse its restaurant grade 9 gallon cooking oil reservoir up to 50 times over, while a precision temp controls ensure your food fries perfectly.



Cycle Gear from Village Motorsports

The good folks at Village Motorsports are sending up a bunch of cool cycle gear to help out. General manager Brad Schroeder wants everyone involved to understand their commitment to our troops. Wait until you see this.



Bonefish Grill of Grand Rapids

Managing partner and chef, Mike Thorpe is sending up gift cards, golf shirts, golfers accesories, and dinner packages totaling over $1,200.00 to help in this last drive. Bonefish Grill loves grillin’ and our troops.



Stormy Kromer has donated a bunch of their classic hats with the GI BBQ logo. These fine Michigan Made hats will also be raffled off so this is your last chance to get one. Total value of this donation is near $4,000.00. Wow, you gotta love Stormy. We sure do.



Arcadia Ales is donating some very cool Beer Gear to the effort. Arcadia is originally from Battle Creek and now has a giant brewing production facility in Kalamazoo. If you have not tried a Whitsun, you’re missin’ out buddy.



There are going to be more folks adding things to auction. The point is, this is going to be a day to honor the men and women who selflessly dedicate themselves to protecting us all. Can you just give up a Saturday? We promise it to be fun and you may just be a winner.

Chase Creek is also donating a buck ($1) from every beer sold to the kitty. We can’t wait.

Let’s not forget the other major donors:

Original Juan, Kansas City, MO. $15,000 worth of American Stockyard BBQ sauce.

Fat Daddy BBQ Spice from Boise, Idaho

Parker Pure Mountain Charcoal. Four skids of America’s finest lump charcoal from Tennessee.

Perferated Tube, Dave Doezema, for providing warehousing for all this product. Ada, MI.

ABS, American BBQ Systems, Kansas City, MO for donating a portion of the cost for 3 Judge Smokers valued at over $18,000 and costing us lest than $13,000.

The Meritage Group of restaurants from Grand Rapis, MI donated $3,300.00 in cash. These folks run all the Wendy’s in west Michigan and own The Twisted Rooster, Freighters, and The Crooked Goose.

As well as Air Force Moms in Kansas City who collected a very large box of candy.

There are more and if we left you out, please forgive us. This task has been a bit overwhelming to bring together with just a few volunteers.

May 14th is the day we all celebrate.

May 14th is the day we all celebrate.

public invite blessing

This is our final push to get the last $8,000 or hopefully more.

Please come up and have a great day with us. We will have thousands of folks expected to attend and you will not regret it.

Tip up Town

Tip up Town

Join the guys at tip up town on Houghton Lake.

Chase Creek Smokehouse

Chase Creek Smokehouse


Tucked away on the Rails to Trails that goes from Reed City to Baldwin, this classy smokehouse can lay down food that is mind blowing.  Perfect for a road trip, snowmobile trip, blessing of the bikes.  Shoot, it’s just fun.

It’s a block South of US 10 in Chase at 7143 S Depot St, Chase, MI 49623

The great people at Chase Creek Smokehouse have donated 40 – $25 gift cards for immediate purchase.

To get these cards, just follow the link below.


Map it

Uccello's Ristorante Helping G.I. BBQ

Uccello’s Ristorante Helping G.I. BBQ

This Thursday Yo.  What are you doing?  Maybe you can eat with us at Uccello’s in Rockford.  From 5-9pm, all meal and drink orders qualify for a 15% donation by Uccello’s to G.I.BBQ.  11221359_891249607597524_8765903898867864678_nJust download this flyer and bring it in.  Now that isn’t so hard is it.  See, you do have the heart for our troops.  See you there.

With five locations in the greater Grand Rapid’s area, Uccello’s Ristorante, Pizzeria & Sports Lounge has something for everyone. Open 11 am to 2 am everyday, Uccello’s offers a mouth watering combination for lunch, happy hour, dinner, and late night hunger. Our kitchen stays open until 1:30 am for dine in, 1:00 am for take out, 7 days a week!

Tails a Waggin

Tails a Waggin

TailAWagginVetsWe got to experience a phenomenal time helping put some disabled vets on some birds.

Tails-A-Waggin' Acres is Michigan's premier bird hunting preserve!

Tails-A-Waggin’ Acres is Michigan’s premier bird hunting preserve!



Tails-A-Waggin’ Acres is Michigan’s premier bird hunting preserve!

18319 50th Ave, Marion, Michigan 49665

Join “The Grillin’ Guys” and help out these folks. This is a great group of folks with big hearts helping disabled veterans.

They take Veterans on bird hunts and help them heal.

Big Bob Gibson

Big Bob Gibson


History of Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q

In 1925, Bob Gibson served barbecue from a makeshift table made of oak planks nailed to a large sycamore tree in his backyard. Fresh out of his hand-dug pit came smoke and smells that drew people from miles away. Weighing 300 pounds with a 6’4” frame, it was easy to see why friends and other railway workers called him Big Bob. “Your future is not in the railroad, but in Bar-B-Q”, said Roslyn Mitchell. It was with that, Big Bob Gibson started a family barbecue restaurant tradition that has lasted has lasted over 80 years and 4 generations.

Big Bob Gibson’s storefront bobbed up and down all over Decatur Alabama, always moving to a bigbobcashregister-s1.jpgbigger and more populated location. He specialized in smoking pork and chicken in his hickory fired brick pits. Word spread of his Southern Flavors and Big Bob’s unique Bar-B-Q White Sauce recipe. Three things contributed to his success; his delicious food, that tangy White Sauce, and his charismatic personality. “Big Bob Gibson never met a stranger,” said Mattie Johnson, an employee for over 50 years. The tables were always full and the lines at the counter grew longer with people placing orders, and just wanting to talk to Big Bob. Demand for his food prompted him to initiate a curb service, where orders were taken and delivered directly to a customer’s car window.

In the 1950’s all five of Big Bob’s children chose bar-b-q as their life passion. Big Bob’s daughter Catherine (Punk to friends), and her husband Coy McLemore joined the ranks. Soon customers were enjoying chocolate, lemon, and coconut cream pie, made fresh every morning. Another addition to the menu was potato salad. This added a touch of variety to the limited side gibsonspostcard3.jpgitems of coleslaw and potato chips, which Big Bob had always served. A new restaurant was introduced to Decatur in the 50’s, called Little Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q. A brother and sister combo of Ruth Hopkins and Bob Gibson Jr. joined their spouses to quench Decatur’s thirst for this southern staple. In 1956 another brother and sister tandem of David Gibson and Velma Hampton, along with their spouses, introduced the bar-b-q trade to Huntsville Alabama. Soon, all of the Gibson clan was satisfying the craving for bar-b-q across North Alabama.

Increased demand for bar-b-q meant two more cooking pits were needed at Big Bob Gibsons. Bar-b-q pits in those days had a large chimney on one end, with brick walls surrounding a flat cooking grate. Burning hickory coals were shoveled under the cooking grate, through holes in the bottom of the brick wall. The floor of the pits was clay soil. The clay floors would absorb grease from the pork shoulders and chickens. Every week, the floor would be shoveled out to a depth of two feet and replaced with fresh clay.

don-and-carolyn.jpgThe 1970’s and 80’s ushered in a growing Decatur and a new generation at Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q. Don McLemore, grandson of Big Bob, and his wife Carolyn took control of this Decatur landmark. More people coming to the city meant more customers in the restaurant. In 1987, a new restaurant was built to house an expanded kitchen and dinning room. An advertising campaign promoting catering was devised to target a large unfulfilled market. With the new facilities in place, annual catering jobs of more than 3000 people became a routine. A veteran crew and an assembly line approach to fixing plates made serving large groups both fast and efficient. These changes provided Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q with the opportunity to grow and to be recognized regionally as the best bar-b-q restaurant.

“In the restaurant business, you never want to add a new food to your menu unless by adding that item you attract new customers”, said Don McLemore. With this in mind three new items were added in the next decade. Pork ribs began kissing the hickory coals for a full 5 hours at 240 img-1408.jpgdegrees. The entrees available now included ribs, pork, chicken and beef. Carolyn rounded out the side order options with her traditional homemade bar-b-q baked bean recipe. A huge success was the addition of bar-b-q stuffed potatoes. These giant spuds, once compared to “a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier” by Chile Pepper Magazine, are filled with butter, sour cream, bacon, chives, and topped with your choice of meat.

Decatur is a city that is that is bordered by industrial parks to the West, the Tennessee River to the North, and Wheeler Wildlife Refuge to the East. The only direction that the city and the restaurant could grow is south. In 1992, Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q opened another location on the south side of town. This new endeavor baptized the 4th generation of the Big Bob Gibson family in hickory smoke. Great granddaughter Amy and her husband Chris Lilly joined the team and helped take the restaurant in a new direction.

People raised in Decatur know that bar-b-q sauces are supposed to be white. Big Bob Gibson chickens are split, seasoned, and laid open on the pit for 3 ½ hours on 350 degrees. A pit full of 50 golden brown birds is then dipped into a vat of that tangy, peppery white sauce. The demand for this sauce prompted the bottling of this milky white liquid. Soon distribution of Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q White Sauce reached 8 states and over 2000 grocery stores.

Bar-b-q is good for your heart and hickory smoke is good for your soul. Everyone from the South knows this is true. The non-Southern educated folks occasionally brought up still questions of calorie count and fat grams. How could Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q draw in the health conscious customers without compromising their traditional bar-b-q menu? The answer came with several new menu items. Marinated turkey breasts were pit-smoked and sliced to provide a tender new entree or a tasty sandwich. A mound of a customer’s favorite meat topped a bowl of mixed greens and vegetables to form a Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q Salad. This satisfied their cravings and provided the restaurant with a new customer base.

Mamma Shed from Shed's BBQ and The Food Network

Mamma Shed from Shed’s BBQ and The Food Network


Down by the Mississippi you’ll find a sizable “shed” that houses a loyal community of barbecue lovers and live blues music. The house specialty is baby back ribs, which Guy calls “as tender as you can get.” They also serve up some righteous chicken “wangs” and brisket in massive quantities.

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