NWI Business Ins and Outs: Family Pizza & BBQ, King of Budz, Harbor Freight Tools, Brothers BBQ and Seoul Food, Crazy Snacks, Schillings, Dunkin' and Culver's opening; Enzo's for sale (2024)

Clifford McCarty wanted to open a barbecue restaurant. His kids wanted to open a pizza place.

So they compromised and opened Family Pizza & BBQ in South Haven.

The restaurant opened at 422 W. U.S. 6, which has a Valparaiso mailing address but is actually in South Haven just outside Portage.

"It’s a family restaurant run by me and my kids," McCartysaid. "We have pizza, barbecue and ice cream. We make our own special kind of pizza. It's almost like a stuffed crust where we put on all our toppings and fold the crust. It's like a deep dish and thin crust at the same time."

Family Pizza & BBQ offers build-your-own pizzas and specialty pizzas like a Taco Pizza, Buffalo Chicken Pizza and Bacon Ranch Pizza. The Home Run Pizza is topped with sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, green peppers and onions while the Grand Slam Pizza has sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, green peppers, green and black olives, bacon and ham.

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The barbecue menu includes rib tips, hot links, brisket and St. Louis-style ribs. It's all smoked in-house.

Family Pizza & BBQ smokes its brisket for 12-13 hours, its ribs eight hours and its hot links for two hours.

"Our barbecue is southern style," McCartysaid. "It's all cooked low and slow. We keep the temperature low."

The meat ends up falling off the bone.

"Our rib tips are so tender some people think they're pulled pork," he said.

Currently, the restaurant sells more barbecue than pizza. It runs through 10 briskets a week and often sells out. It also sells 200 pounds of rib tips.

"None of the meat is frozen," he said. "We don't freeze the sausage, ribs or pulled pork. Everything is made fresh and comes straight from a butcher."

It also has burgers, scoops of ice cream and different kinds of cake.

Family Pizza & BBQ offers takeout, delivery and dine-in. It seats 25 diners and will add 10 picnic tables outside this summer.

"It's really small," he said. "It's an office location we made into a restaurant. I liked the neighborhood, the building and the area. The dining area has a mural with painted tomatoes with arms and faces. The dining area is family-oriented. We love when families come in. I like to go talk to everyone."

Family Pizza and BBQ is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information visit www.familypizzabbq.com or call 219-764-3100.


King of Budz recently opened just across the state line in Southwest Michigan, where more than 35 dispensaries are planned to capitalize on the Hoosier business since Indiana is one of a dwindling number of states where cannabis is still completely banned.

The recreational cannabis dispensary opened at 19253 Harbor Country Drive, New Buffalo, and is advertising in Indiana with a billboard on the Borman Expressway. It's one of many dispensaries to recently open in unincorporated New Buffalo Township, where proprietors also hope to draw Illinois business given cheaper prices than Illinois dispensaries and the propensity of Chicagoans to make Harbor Country a summer playground.

It's the fourth King of Budz to open in Michigan after locations in Detroit, Monroe and Ferndale. It sells flowers, pre rolls, vaporizers, edibles, concentrates, tinctures, topicals, accessories and apparel.

King of Budz, which will soon add a fifth location is Michigan, carries brands like Cannalicious, Mitten Extracts, Gold Crown, Goodlyfe, Top Smoke, Breeze, Bossy and Church Cannabis Company.

It's open to only customers who are at least 21 years old.

King of Budz is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week. For more information, call 269-281-8006.


Brothers BBQ and Seoul Food is serving barbecue and Asian food in an old Chinese restaurant in East Chicago's Indiana Harbor neighborhood.

Owners Kelly Williams, Eric Boone and Dwayne Rancifer opened the restaurant at 1605 E. Columbus Drive in the former site of the China Cook restaurant, right by where the former Washington High School was located.

It offers hibachi, rice bowls and eggs rolls partly to pay homage to the Asian restaurant that previously occupied.

"We have Asian because the place of business was know as a Chinese restaurant. It was the only Chinese restaurant in our city," Williams said. "It also had healthy food offerings and we too want people to be able to eat healthy. They can order any of our meats, our smoked meats and add those onto those rice bowls."

Williams is the pastor of the Greater Destiny Bible Church in East Chicago and Boone is the pastor of Life Baptist Church in Hammond and Gary.

"East Chicago doesn't have a barbecue restaurant so we came together to bring a barbecue spot to East Chicago," Williams said. "The community also was looking for healthy food offerings, so we have fried rice and rice bowls with choose-your-own proteins."

It offers pick-up, delivery through DoorDash and catering.

The menu includes rip tips, turkey tips, hot links, salmon, catfish and chicken. It also has soul food, including sides like greens, candied yams, cabbage and baked macaroni and cheese.

Brothers BBQ and Seoul Food spent at least 44 hours prepping the meat for the barbecue before it ever touches a grill. Ribs are smoked four to six hours.

The soul food plates consist of one meat and two sides.

"We were looking to bring barbecue, soul food, and downhome and southern cuisine to our city," Williams said. "It's definitely not fast food. We cook everything from scratch. It's a family restaurant. We plan to do a lot for the community, including to feed the homeless. We want to be involved in the community."

Brothers BBQ and Seoul Food is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, call 219-354-0061 or find the business on Facebook.


Schillings, a leading name in home improvement in the Region, is moving its showroom in downtown Valparaiso to a new location.

The home improvement retailer, which has stores on Wicker Avenue in St. John and in Mokena, opened a showroom last year at 175 W. Lincolnway on the second floor of the building that houses Stacks Bar and Grill. It's moving down the street to a larger space at street level.

"Schillings will be located at 2202 LaPorte Ave and construction cost is $250,000," Valparaiso Building and Code Enforcement Director Vicki Thrasher said.

Schillings showroom features an array of building materials, such as windows, doors, cabinets, countertops, faucets, sinks, backsplashes, flooring, decking and lumber. It caters to homeowners doing renovation projects, people building new homes and contractors, who can inspect samples of quartz, granite and siding.

Schillings also has a distribution center in Cedar Lake and sells its home improvement products online, shipping nationwide.

Coming soon

Harbor Freight Tools is planning to open a new location in the in the Porter’s Vale outdoor shopping center in Valparaiso.

Valparaiso Building and Code Enforcement Director Vicki Thrasher said Harbor Freight is working on obtaining permits. It will be located at 610 Porter’s Vale Boulevard.

The California-based tool and equipment retailer has 1,400 stores across the country, including in Schererville, Portage, Michigan City and Hobart across from the Southlake Mall. It typically employs 25 to 30 workers per store.

A teenager started it 40 years ago as a mail order business and now served an estimated 75 million customers a year, including professional contractors, construction workers and home DIYers. It makes its own store brand tools, selling in-house brands like Chicago Electric, Drill Master and Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Pro so it can offer lower prices.

For more information, visit www.harborfreight.com.


Crazy Snacks is serving a variety of sweets in Valparaiso. The ice cream shop opened at 2812 Calumet Ave.

"So we're a pretty small business that has ice cream and different snacks, including Mexican-style snacks," owner Francisco Garcia said. "We've got fruit cups, mango sherbet, strawberry, corn in a cup and walking tacos."

It has 20 different flavors of ice cream, including Nutella, cheesecake and cookie monster.

It's an 800-square-foot space with six tables. It plans to expand soon, likely in Chesterton.

"We've got some good snacks, some exotic snacks, some crazy snacks," he said. "You've got to come try it. It's crazy."

Crazy Snacks is open from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. seven days a week. For more information, call 219-242-8109.

Coming soon

Dunkin plans to open two more Region locations in Chesterton and Gary's Miller neighborhood.

The donut and coffee shop, formerly known as Dunkin' Donuts, is now under construction by the Chipotle in Chesterton.

Town spokesman Kevin Nevers said it's been rumored to be all sorts of things.

"But mostly a Cracker Barrel," he said. "Folks were also wish-listing, mostly a Whole Foods."

A Dunkin also will soon be built on U.S. 20 next to J J Fish & Chicken. A groundbreaking is planned in June, Mayor Eddie Melton said.

"They're trying to get the site ready," he said. "The vision is to make it a full-service one with a drive-thru."

It's expected to be the start of new development around the new South Shore Line station, Melton said.

"With the reopening of a train station that's been closed for some time and the activity on Lake Street, there's been calls from a lot of national chains about that area," he said.


The Wisconsin burger chain Culver's recently opened its latest Region location in Cedar Lake.

The Terpstra family serves as the local franchisee in Lake County. They've also opened locations in Hammond, Highland, Schererville, St. John, Merrillville and Crown Point.

The new Culvers, at 9717 W 133rd Ave., is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

For sale

Enzo's, the south suburban Italian beef and Italian staple, is now on the market after shuttering after 80 years in business.

Long known as Enzo's Beef and Sausage, Enzo's & Carmelcorn is now selling its brand and intellectual property as well as its building at 1710 Chicago Road in Chicago Heights. That would give a new owner the opportunity to operate the restaurant that's been in business since 1946.

"Our buildings are back on the market and available for purchase or rent," Enzo's posted on social media. "We have decided to make the Enzo’s & Carmelcorn name and recipes available to the next owners. All equipment will be included in the sale, including recipe training from our family. For more information on this once in a lifetime opportunity, please reach out to Realtor Nick Oosting."

NWI Business Ins and Outs: Family Pizza & BBQ, King of Budz, Harbor Freight Tools, Brothers BBQ and Seoul Food, Crazy Snacks, Schillings, Dunkin' and Culver's opening; Enzo's for sale (1)

If you would like your business to be included in a future column, email joseph.pete@nwi.com.



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NWI Business Ins and Outs: Family Pizza & BBQ, King of Budz, Harbor Freight Tools, Brothers BBQ and Seoul Food, Crazy Snacks, Schillings, Dunkin' and Culver's opening; Enzo's for sale (2024)
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