ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (WFRV) – By the end of March, the Grazies Italian Grill replacement – Parker John’s BBQ & Pizza – hopes to open its doors to the Green Bay area. After Feb. 17’s abrupt announcement that Grazies was closing and Parker John’s was moving in, Local 5 caught up with owner and operator Aaron Sloma to talk about their fourth location.
“We’ve been looking to come to Green Bay for about two and a half, three years. We checked out locations on Lombardi and Downtown,” Sloma told Local 5.
Last summer, Sloma’s realtor contacted Sloma and Jen, his wife and business partner, to let them know that a location – Grazies – on Oneida Street may be opening up.
“We drove up, we went to lunch at Grazies, and we decided it was the perfect place logistically and geographically.”
Parker John’s can currently be found in three Northeast Wisconsin cities: their first location in Kiel as well as locations in Sheboygan and Menasha.
“We just felt Green Bay was next.”
The Slomas and Parker John’s closed on the Grazies location on the afternoon of Feb. 17, the same day Grazies announced the closure of their Green Bay location on Facebook.
“All of us at Grazies would like to thank our loyal customers who have supported us over the years. Thank you for your business Green Bay!” restaurant officials said in the post, which has since been deleted, as has the Grazies Green Bay Facebook page.
Since closing on the location, Sloma says contractors have been hard at work to redesign the restaurant to fit Parker John’s style.
“We’ve gutted the place, basically from the bar straight back to the kitchen. We’ll be putting a roof over the bar to make it feel like a shed. We smoke all our own meats. The smoker is scheduled to come soon and we’ll put that behind the restaurant and fence that in,” says Sloma.
Sloma says they are on track to open their doors on March 23. When Parker John’s Green Bay does open, Sloma says customers can expect this location to function just like the other three locations.
“We’ll have carryout and delivery, we offer catering from all our locations,” says Sloma. “We’ll also have 13 draft lines primarily from Wisconsin with one from Texas because, you know, we do barbeque. We also smoke all our own meats and make our own barbeque sauce and sides.”
The new location, much like the locations in Sheboygan and Menasha, is expected to seat a little over 150.
As of Tuesday, Sloma says about 15 employees who were affected by the closure of Grazies have been hired to work at Ashwaubenon’s Parker John’s with more expected to be brought on soon. Many of those employees are now training at the Menasha location.
“We’re still looking to hire about 45, 50, maybe even more for everywhere – front of house, back of house, bartenders.”
Those interested in working at Parker John’s are invited to open interviews from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day until Saturday, Feb. 29. Anyone with questions is asked to contact the restaurant at 920-428-1203.
For those with unredeemed Grazies gift cards, Sloma says they were unable to reach an agreement with the Grazies owners that would benefit those with the gift cards.
For more on Parker John’s and to see their full menu, visit their website.
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