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Posted on Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

Ann Arbor's Satchel's BBQ to join vendor lineup at Mark's Carts this year

By Lizzy Alfs


Eight food vendors plan to open at Mark's Carts outdoor food courtyard on April 1, including newcomers Satchel's BBQ and El Manantial.

Joseph Tobianski I

Related story: New Mark's Carts food vendor El Manantial will serve authentic Mexican food

After two successful years on Washtenaw Avenue, Satchel’s BBQ is bringing its smoked meats to downtown Ann Arbor.

Owner Hugh Morgan said Satchel’s BBQ will be one of eight food vendors this year at Mark’s Carts outdoor food courtyard off West Washington and South Ashley streets.

“We’re excited about doing this,” he said. “I was interested in expanding the business and especially trying to build some business in the downtown market, which is a fun place to be.”


Satchel's BBQ at 3035 Washtenaw Ave. opened two years ago. Owner Hugh Morgan plans to open a food cart this year.

Morgan — who grew up in Alabama — opened Satchel’s at 3035 Washtenaw Ave. two years ago. He said customers have responded well to the barbecue menu and the restaurant has found success in its first few years.

“People dig barbecue,” he said. “I think all the reasons that I made this big leap into smoked meat, I feel as good about it now as I did two years ago when I opened the doors. I feel it’s really a nice little market if you can execute on the food and the service.”

Opening a food cart at Mark’s Carts, he said, offered a less risky expansion option than opening a second brick-and-mortar restaurant.

“(This is) a little less risky than finding another multi-year lease,” he said. “It’s kind of a way for me to just see if this food works in the downtown market.”

The menu at the food cart will be similar to the food at the Washtenaw Avenue restaurant. Possible offerings include a pulled pork sandwich, chicken sandwich, kielbasa and gumbo. Because it won’t be possible to smoke the meats downtown, Morgan said some of the food will be prepared at the restaurant on Washtenaw Avenue and delivered to the cart each morning.

“We’ll experiment,” he said. “We’ll try a few different things (on the menu).”

Morgan said he will hire some additional employees to staff the restaurant or the cart. He hopes to open on April 1, when the entire courtyard opens for its third season.

Returning food vendors at Mark's Carts this year include: San Street, Hut-K Chaats, A2 Pizza Pi, Beet Box and Cheese Dream. El Manantial and Satchel's BBQ will be new to the courtyard.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at


Admiral Halsey

Thu, Feb 28, 2013 : 2:15 a.m.

Satchel's is great. We go there almost every week; could probably go every day! The pork and the greens! Keep up the great work, Hugh.

Andy T

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 8:34 p.m.

Just out of curiosity, I'd like to know why the people who aren't returning, aren't coming back. Completely just curious.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 5:59 p.m.

Congrats to Satchel's! You'll do great downtown!

Jessica Webster

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 4:33 p.m.

I'm thrilled to see that San Street is returning. I always mean to make it to the Bar at Braun Ct on Tuesdays for their pop up, but that's a rough night for us to get out. Getting my lunchtime banh mi again will make me very happy!


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 4:30 p.m.

I hope its better than the cart they had at Top of the Park. The food in the restaurant is so good and I am a fan, but something got lost transitioning it to a cart last summer. It wasn't the same at all.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 3:40 p.m.

A Satchel's booth at Top of the Park would be great too!

Jake C

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 6:31 p.m.

I'm pretty sure they did have a boot at Top of the Park last year, unless I hallucinated it (and that's quite possible at TotP)


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 3:02 p.m.

Great news. We have been to Satchel's many times and the food is always excellent!

Joseph Maino

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 2:16 p.m.

Not really trying to hate on Satchel's, but they need to step their game up because they have some of the worst BBQ I have ever had. Went a couple times to give them another chance and it never got better.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 6:04 p.m.

"Not really trying to hate on Satchel's", but here's my hate on Satchel's. Ha. Wonderful. That's right up there with Ricky Bobby's 'with all due respect'.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 5:19 p.m.

Obviously, you've never been to Damon's.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 4:43 p.m.

The pork is excellent. I'm not thrilled with the ribs, though.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 1:18 p.m.

Just make sure and have the brisket please

Tom Teague

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 1:01 p.m.

Good news. Satchel's BBQ is great and very reminiscent of the BBQ joints in my southern home town. Before all the BBQ Boo Birds weigh in, remember that Barbecue is a big tent and there's a huge variety for different preferences. That doesn't mean that the other BBQ is bad, I just happen to prefer Satchel's over the other stuff I've had locally.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 12:34 p.m.

I'll put my vote in for satchel's having some of the best BBQ in the area. Try the's amazing.

Lizzy Alfs

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 12:01 p.m.

I also didn't mention in the stories that this year, we have Bill's Beer Garden right next door. You can get food to-go from the carts and bring it over. The beer garden opens St. Patrick's Day weekend.


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 2:52 p.m.

That's good to hear b/c there is absolutely no room to sit and enjoy the food at Mark's Carts. I always seem to go with more than two people, so this will be nice, thanks for letting us know!!


Wed, Feb 27, 2013 : 11:58 a.m.

I can't wait for cart season! Looking forward to some bbq with my papdi chaat!