What are your 2017 New Year's resolutions for your business? Chris and Jon DePalma, the barbecue-obsessed brothers who run 2 Jerks BBQ Kitchen and Bar in Raynham, Massachusetts, have several.
Jon DePalma spent years living in Tennessee, where he fell in love with barbecue, and this family-owned restaurant is an oasis for barbecue lovers in southeastern Massachusetts. It's a haven for discerning diners who love Memphis-style ribs, North Carolina pulled pork and Texas brisket (which takes the "2 jerks" 16 hours to prepare).
The name for this family business was inspired by Jill DePalma, the mother of Jon and Chris, who gave her sons the sardonic title that they lovingly embraced when they opened a barbecue restaurant. Open since 2015, 2 Jerks BBQ has earned rave reviews and is now expanding its original location. The family is even considering opening a new location. I recently spoke with Chris DePalma about where 2 Jerks BBQ is headed in 2017.
What are your 2017 New Year's resolutions for 2 Jerks BBQ?
Chris DePalma: [We want] to make the restaurant more of a hangout late [at] night as opposed to just [a place] where people eat and then [leave] by 10 p.m. We're not just [about] the food. We want people to know that we're a place to go and grab a beer with your friends, to go out and watch the game and just hang.
How are you planning to make that happen?
Chris DePalma: We've come up with a different menu, a bar menu so to speak. And we're also going to start offering live entertainment one weekend night per week.
Do you have any other resolutions or plans for 2017?
Chris DePalma: Ultimately, we would like to open another location, sooner rather than later. But we would like to do it outside of the southeastern Massachusetts area. Our first location was in Raynham because it's where we're from, me and my brother Jon. We thought if we opened a local spot, we'd start with a good following, since people already know us.
What kind of location would you like to open as a second 2 Jerks BBQ?
Chris DePalma: We would like to be near a city. We'd want to be close to a university or near multiple business parks, something of that nature. We do a lot of catering, and [if we were] near a business park, that aspect of the business could be huge for us. But to find that ideal location is easier said than done.
How do you view the risks of expanding into a new location?
Chris DePalma: Well, the biggest risk would be financial. I mean, we've been [at our first location for] less than two full years. So there's still some payback that has to be done. Ultimately, the [major] risk of expanding would be doing it too soon; that's always a risk for any restaurant, I think.
Sounds like the "2 Jerks" have a full plate for 2017, Chris. Anything else that you're considering for the New Year?
Chris DePalma: Just to keep on going. Just keep doing what we do and keep spreading the word. And hopefully people [will] keep coming in and joining us.
It's clear that Chris DePalma has ambitious plans for expansion in 2017.
2 Jerks BBQ was a client of ADP, LLC. at the time of this article's publication.
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