Famous Dave’s Opens Ghost Kitchen at Granite City

famous dave's bar-b-que
Photo: Famous Daves Bar-B-Que of America Facebook Page

Although local Famous Dave’s has closed, bbq lovers can still get their favorite Famous Dave’s menu item.

BBQ Holdings, the ownership group of Granite City and Famous Dave’s, has opened a Famous Dave’s “ghost kitchen” at Granite City, located at 1864 W McEwen in Franklin.

What is a Ghost Kitchen?

A new trend in restaurants is ghost kitchens (also known as virtual restaurants). Just recently, Mr. Beast Burgers launched a virtual kitchen in Franklin, giving diners the option to try the food but not dine-in like traditional restaurants.

We spoke to Granite City VP, Josh Keen who explained the concept of ghost kitchens.

A ghost (or virtual) kitchen is a model that functions solely as a kitchen for delivery and pickup and is run under the same roof as the restaurant. We recently opened a Famous Dave’s ghost kitchen to run out of Granite City in Franklin located at 1864 W McEwen Dr.  We believe that this location is perfect due to previously having a Famous Dave’s in very close proximity that was operated by a franchise.”

For some, the opening of Famous Dave’s seems odd but Keen shares that Granite City recently became part of the BBQ Holdings group which includes Famous Dave’s.

Keen, stated, “Granite City was acquired in March of this year by BBQ Holdings, the parent company of Famous Dave’s and a number of other concepts. Granite City and Famous Dave’s were both founded in the late 1990’s by 2 restaurant pioneers – Steve Wagenheim for Granite City, and Dave Anderson from Famous Dave’s – both of whom are still intimately involved in the concepts today.”

In talking about why you would have two restaurants essentially under one roof, Keen touched on the pandemic and how they are able to do this and maintain their staff while other restaurants had to furlough employees.

“The efficiencies created by having two restaurants under one roof are significant. The COVID-19 pandemic has hit many in our industry very hard, and at this time we must think creatively and be nimble. Many concepts are attempting to create a ghost kitchen from the ground up by creating a new and different brand that focuses on an existing menu category (wings, burgers, etc.) that they feel they can leverage. This is NOT the case with Granite City and Famous Dave’s.  We have the unique opportunity to take a nationally established brand and place it under the same roof as another nationally established brand. With Granite City’s entire menu being made-from-scratch and the fact that each location has a dedicated executive chef, we were able to take something as complicated and artistic as BBQ and place it within our current footprint. This is not something that just any concept can do – there are significant barriers to replication, and in a time of revenue declines across the industry, this fills a gap that allows us to retain staff and grow when others may be forced to do the opposite,” states Keen.  

So what does this mean for those who dine at Granite City? Keen says it’s only an upside for diners because now in addition to taking advantage of Granite City’s menu, you can also grab some bbq and craft beer for home.

Granite City and our guests will be unaffected. The only thing that someone may notice when coming into the restaurant is a separate pickup area dedicated to delivery drivers and in-store pickup of both Famous Dave’s and Granite City. Aside from that, our operations as an upscale-casual restaurant and brewery will remain unchanged. We also LOVE the fact that now someone that is craving amazing BBQ can come to pick it up to take home and also bring home some freshly brewed craft beer at the same time. Beer and BBQ are a match made in heaven.”

If you want to order Famous Dave’s BBQ, visit the website here.