SHILOH, Ill. — A popular Metro East barbecue restaurant, which closed its doors in November due to COVID-19 restrictions, will begin serving its customers again — but through a food truck and catering concept.
A Fine Swine BBQ returned in June in food truck form, thanks in part to Soulcial Kitchen, a hospitality incubator with a fleet of mobile food trucks and catering, delivery and curbside pickup options. This is the Metro East's first so-called "cloud" commercial kitchen, officials said. A cloud kitchen, sometimes called a ghost kitchen, provide food service facilities without the in-person dining space.
"I am thrilled to partner with Soulcial Kitchen and lead the development, menu and operational execution of not just A Fine Swine BBQ, but also five exciting new brands coming to Soulcial Kitchen this summer and fall 2021 including El Guaqo Taco, Neo's Wood-Fired Pizza, NashVegas Fried Chicken and Minuteman Hamburgers featuring charcoal grilled burgers and fries, each with their own branded food trucks," David Stidham, founder of A Fine Swine BBQ and partner/chief operating officer of Soulcial Kitchen, said in a statement.
Soulcial Kitchen, founded by retired Brig. Gen. John Michel, will operate out of 2127 Lebanon Ave. in Shiloh. Michel already runs a similar incubator in Arkansas, officials said.
"The restaurant industry has been undergoing a transformation in both expectation and presentation for years, and the pandemic only accelerated the growth of key trends such as delivery, pickup, mobile, and drive through," Michel said in a statement. "A mobile powered cloud kitchen enables us to be innovative in food preparation, while dramatically reducing cost of operations."
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