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Posted on Tue, Dec 20, 2011 : 10:30 a.m.

Barbecue restaurant nears opening at former T.C.'s Speakeasy in downtown Ypsilanti

By Nathan Bomey

A new barbecue restaurant is set to open in the former T.C.'s Speakeasy space in downtown Ypsilanti.


Red Rock Downtown Barbecue is set to open in the former T.C.’s Speakeasy space, seen here before renovations started.

City of Ypsilanti web site

Red Rock Downtown Barbecue is expected to open in early January at 207-209 W. Michigan Ave., according to a report by the Ypsilanti Courier.

Shawn Cool and parents John and Nancy are opening the restaurant, which has been under construction for more than a year. They hope to appeal to a wide range of clientele, including business people, students and Eastern Michigan University faculty members.

They had originally hoped to open earlier this year.

Read the full Ypsilanti Courier story here.

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's newsletters.



Wed, Dec 21, 2011 : 3:49 a.m.

Can't wait to try it out. Remember people, when you meet somebody that don't like soul food they still got a soul...<a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

Catherine Bosma

Tue, Dec 20, 2011 : 11:56 p.m.

Being from Texas, good BBQ is much appreciated. I'm still amazed how hard it is to find in Michigan, except when I make it myself! If the brisket is good, I'll be a regular. And nothing is better during the holidays than smoked turkey. Or smoked sausages. Or smoked meat of any variety! Cheers to the owners, my fingers are crossed!

P. Marie Mason

Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 8:51 p.m.

I hope that I can market my BBQ someday... smokey and good. It is so much work to own and operate a restaurant. Now I have to go home and put a slab of ribs on the grill...dang it.


Wed, Dec 21, 2011 : 3:50 a.m.

You obviously got here after Jesse died, Mr. Rib put out a great product.

free form

Tue, Dec 20, 2011 : 11:42 p.m.

I've been waiting forever for this place to open and was so excited to notice the paper off the front windows the other day! The fact that the owners have taken so long to open actually gives me hope that the restaurant will be renovated and well designed. Maybe it took so long because they want everything to be &quot;right&quot; before they open the doors. Downtown Ypsi is in such desperate need of GOOD restaurants! Hopefully, Red Rock will be worth the wait.


Wed, Dec 21, 2011 : 3:51 a.m.

parking is gong to be a big issue though


Tue, Dec 20, 2011 : 11:38 p.m.

If the food is as good as Hawkins' Place, they should do well in that location. A successful restaurant is about how good the food is.


Tue, Dec 20, 2011 : 9:01 p.m.

Hope the Cools make good BBQ. Interesting factoid, TC stands for Ty Cool, I believe. Is there some relationship between old and new?

Mary Bilyeu

Tue, Dec 20, 2011 : 6:18 p.m.

Oh, another restaurant in Ypsi - yay! I always love new places to eat ... :)


Tue, Dec 20, 2011 : 6:02 p.m.

I'll make the trek to get some quality barbeque. Keep us posted on the opening.

P. Marie Mason

Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 8:48 p.m.

Its hard to top my own BBQ so I don't go out for it much. I might have to try it to see...but something tells me it won't top my own... catering to some friends who keep ordering every holiday. Best wishes on the new BBQ place though.


Tue, Dec 20, 2011 : 5:47 p.m.

I hope they actually know how to BBQ, its not hard but does take patients. Cant wait to smell the pork and hardwoods burning in downtown Ypsi.


Wed, Dec 21, 2011 : 9:15 p.m.

Thanks for the tip Cinnabar. I'll have to take a ride out to Randy's sometime. The Boneyard restaurants are not bad either, the closest one is in Livonia.


Wed, Dec 21, 2011 : 12:28 p.m.

LOL! @ Tree just did a search on Dahmers BBQ thinking you were serious and you wont believe what came up, funny. For good BBQ it's Randys Roadhouse in the Irish Hills all the way. I hope all that will change with the opening of Red Rock.


Wed, Dec 21, 2011 : 3:52 a.m.

@ cinnabar, are you eating at Dahmers BBQ?


Tue, Dec 20, 2011 : 8:29 p.m.

I think you mean &quot;patience&quot; not &quot;patients&quot;--unless people become sick after eating and have to become some doctor's &quot;patients&quot;!


Tue, Dec 20, 2011 : 4:29 p.m.

I feel for these people - they got caught in the red tape of an innefective local goverment and had to wait for months to get approval before making improvements - the realistic opening wont be for months (but I uderstand why they announced a January open) why do we make it so hard for people to invest their own money in Ypsi?


Tue, Dec 20, 2011 : 8:34 p.m.

Why do people look for ways to say negative things about Ypsi? :(


Tue, Dec 20, 2011 : 5:25 p.m.

You must have some inside information. From what I read, the postponments were due to more renovations than they thought were originally needed. The only &quot;approval&quot; noted in the articles were for inspections. These are for safety reasons to protect not only the owners and their employees, but others who own property nearby. Do you have some other info for us?


Tue, Dec 20, 2011 : 5:24 p.m.

What do you mean? From the prior article, it looks like they had their building permits and liquor license in hand back at the beginning of March, and at that time planned to open during the summer. What do you think the city did to interfere with that timeline?