Denny Swecker and Larry Young have teamed up to open Saucy Squeak's, a barbecued rib and chicken restaurant and tavern.
They bought the former M&G Tavern, 295 Vine St., April 1 and immediately started renovating the kitchen.
"Back about 10 years ago was the first time I tried Denny's sauce when we were both working at Whirlpool," Young said. "It's something Denny has always wanted to do, so we decided to give it a shot. We'd been planning it for three years, trying to find a building."
When they discovered the tavern was for sale, they said they decided the time was now.
Swecker is to retire April 30 from Whirlpool in Clyde and Young is to keep his electrician job.
"It's kind of ironic," Swecker said. "My dad (Lee Swecker) used to own this place. I used to come in here and clean for him."
Swecker said he has previous food service experience.
"I did catering for 18 years," he said. "It was called Fatboy's Barbecue back then.
"Now it's Saucy Sqeak's," he said. "We call him Saucy and I'm Squeak."
So far, the news has spread by word of mouth that barbecued ribs and chicken are being served on weekends at the tavern.
"We've been going for three weekends now," Swecker said.
"He makes a killer barbecue sauce," Young said. "It's so secret I don't even know it."
"It's been in the works for 20 years," Swecker said. "I started with a base. Me and a friend, Glen Hall. And it's taken pretty close 20 years to get where I'm at now."
After renovations are complete, the menu is to include basic hamburgers, french fries and the like, along with daily specials such as thick-cut bologna sandwiches, wings and coney dogs.
"We want to give them a good meal at a good price," Swecker said.
"Later on down the road we'd like to expand the menu a little bit more," he said. "Right now, it's just going to be barbecue."
The price for a chicken leg quarter with two side dishes is $4.50. A half rack of ribs is $8.50 and a full rack is $16.
Chicken only is available Fridays starting at 5 p.m., and chicken and ribs are ready for Saturday.
"We started out doing 50-60 pounds (of chicken) on a Friday and it was gone in an hour and a half," Young said. "Then we did 50 pounds of chicken and 120 pounds of ribs and it was gone in two hours.
"If you want some, get here early," he said. "When it's gone, it's gone, until we get a feel for how it's going to go."
Serving starts at 5 p.m.
The partners said they are planning a grand opening in May or June after renovations are complete.
In addition to barbecue, the tavern remains open daily, with karoake 9 p.m.-1 a.m. every Wednesday and 9 p.m.-1 a.m. the second Saturday of each month.