CUMMING – When Paul Doster was scouting a second location for ‘cue Barbecue, the landlord of Haw Creek Corners told him three restaurants had already failed at that spot.
“I turned to the landlord and said, ‘We’ll take it,’” Doster said.
Wow Cafe and Wingery and Kaya Restaurants are recent casualties that have shut their doors at the 1370 Buford Highway plaza.
But so far, Doster and his partners and co-owners, Chris Hilton and Gene Pica, have proved the landlord wrong.
About a year and a half ago, he opened ‘cue in Milton with partner Beth Gray.
“Here, they are doing almost twice the numbers of when we first opened in Milton,” Doster said.
Live acoustic musical performances on the weekends and the reputation Doster has built for himself in Milton and elsewhere have also helped bring in customers.
“We home-make everything,” Doster said. “We want you to come in and know we are not a corporate-run store. That’s what people want.”
John Dobson, the restaurant’s manager, said the new location has brought in a “steady stream” of new customers.
He said the generous portions and fresh-made sauces – a tomato base, vinegar base and mustard base - help.
“But you can’t go wrong with any of them,” Dobson said.
Doster, 50, who is originally from Hilton Head, S.C., started his local success at Roswell’s Swallow at the Hollow. He was a co-owner there until three years ago, when he decided to go his separate way.
His ‘cue concept offers a variety of barbecue flavors with a slight variation. A lunch favorite is the smoked beef brisket sandwich that can be ordered chopped or sliced ($6.95) and barbecue nachos ($8.95) that come loaded with barbecue chicken, tortilla and shredded cheese. A dinner favorite is the baby back ribs ($15.95 for a half rack) that come with two side dishes, like the Brunswick stew or creamy mac and cheese. For dessert, try the vanilla chocolate chip cookie bar ($4.95) or the crowd pleaser – bananas doster ($5.95, yes, like Doster).
Hilton, one of the partners in the Cumming restaurant, said he’s been working on getting their location ready for launch for more than a year. He said he’s really happy with the results so far.
“We’re looking forward to the spring,” Hilton said, “when people can sit out on the patio.”
For more information, visit www.cuebarbecue.com.