Local company makes move from barbecue sauce to barbecue shack

JAIME VALDEZ - Slick's Big Time BBQ, run by Tigard residents Dan and Barbi Slick, has opened its first restaurant this month in Newberg.Dan and Barbi Slick have come a long way from their days selling surveillance equipment.

Tired of the sugary barbecue sauces they found at local supermarkets, the Tigard couple began experimenting with their own formula in their free time, eventually launching Slick’s Big Time Sauces, which can be found in more than 300 stores across Oregon and Washington.

That, in turn, spawned a food cart at local supermarkets, a food truck in Portland and a successful catering business.

But the Slicks aren’t done yet. Last week, they ventured into the restaurant business, opening Slick's Big Time BBQ, their first drive-though barbecue shack in Newberg.

“From the first day we started this people asked us ‘Where can we come? We want a physical location,’ ” said Barbie Slick. “Well, this is it.”

At their March 1 grand opening, the couple served 400 customers.

Check it out

What: Slick's Big Time BBQ

Where: 28300 S.W. Wilsonville Road, in Newberg.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sunday and Monday.

Call ahead: (503) 327-8200

It’s far from fancy, located in the parking lot of a U-Haul dealership. But Dan Slick said good barbecue doesn’t need white linen.

“This is a high end barbecue compared to a joint you might find in the south,” Dan Slick said. “This is crème de la crème.”

Originally opened as a commercial kitchen for their catering and food truck operations, Slick admits they are a bit off the beaten path for Portland-area folks to visit, but decided to open it as a restaurant after learning that their kitchen might become ideally located in the future.

“There will be an off ramp right here,” Dan Slick said pointing to a nearby intersection along Highway 219. “They have been talking about a bypass from (Highway 99W) to Dundee for 30 years, and they finally broke ground.”

Fingers crossed, Dan Slick said, the restaurant will sit right at the highway exit, bringing thousands of motorists their direction. And, with an enormous sign on top of their restaurant, it’s hard to miss.

“I think the Mir space station could see our sign,” Barbi Slick laughs.

The drive-though restaurant offers a variety of options and sides, but Dan Slick said he wanted to stay true to the barbecue.

“When we run out, we run out,” he said. “That’s barbecue. You have to get here early.”

The restaurant also offers different types of barbecue on different days.

Ribs, for example, are available exclusively on Fridays.

“Now they have a reason to come here, and it’s not just a Jack in the Box,” Dan Slick said. “It’s not the same thing every day.”

But, if you call ahead, Barbi Slick said, they’d be happy to make an order of ribs or other items any day of the week. “We’ll make them for you.”

Dan Slick said he couldn’t see himself opening a restaurant in Portland, given the demands of smoking his barbecue. That, he said, is what the food truck is for.

“It’s a little far to drive, but we like it out here,” Dan Slick said.

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