Smokey Bones has opened a 200-square-foot ghost kitchen at 1282 Essex Avenue in Columbus, Ohio. The new location – Smokey Bones’ fourth in the Columbus area – features a limited menu of the same delicious barbecue the restaurant is famous for, but available for takeout or delivery only through the Smokey Bones website at www.smokeybones.com.
In addition to the ghost kitchen, the location is also home to Smokey Bones’ two virtual brands, The Wing Experience and The Burger Experience. Each virtual brand features a curated menu of wings or burgers and crinkle cut fries.
The Wing Experience offers a category-leading 50 flavors, available as jumbo bone-in or crispy boneless. Flavors include options like Garlic Parmesan, Bourbon Black Cherry, Hot Cinnamon Candy Apple, as well as more traditional flavors.
The Burger Experience recently revamped its menu to feature five delicious burgers served with a secret umami XTC sauce for only $6 each. Options include a Classic, Classic with Cheese, Bacon Cheeseburger, Mushroom and Swiss Burger, and a Green Chile Burger.
“Smokey Bones has a very loyal fan base in Columbus and the new ghost kitchen gives customers more access to our barbecue,” says Smokey Bones CEO James O’Reilly. “Despite it being a rough year for the restaurant business, we have tripled in size thanks to our Chicago ghost kitchen and 121 virtual restaurants. We look forward to growing our business in Columbus and serving more customers in the area.”
This is the second ghost kitchen for Smokey Bones; the first opened in Chicago last year. The two ghost kitchens join Smokey Bones’ 61 brick and mortar restaurants across 16 states, including two restaurants in Columbus and restaurants in nearby Reynoldsburg, Easton and Grove City. Smokey Bones also has locations in Cincinnati, Dayton and the Cleveland area.
The “ghost” concept uses only a kitchen to prepare food that gets out the door and into the customers’ hands quickly. Ghost kitchens are one of the industry’s fastest growing trends, especially during the pandemic, and enables Smokey Bones to grow its off-premises capabilities and efficiently expand its presence in urban areas in the U.S. The delivery-only restaurant model reflects Smokey Bones investment in innovation and technology and its response to the rapidly growing consumer demand for food delivery.
In 2019, Smokey Bones was the first national restaurant chain to open virtual restaurants with its popular The Wing Experience and The Burger Experience brands. The Wing Experience offers 50 flavors of bone-in or boneless wings, and The Burger Experience menu offers five burgers served with a secret sauce for a reasonable price.