Partners open suburban barbecue restaurant


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A pair of partners have opened a barbecue restaurant in a Grand Rapids suburb.

Chelsea Ondersma and Ryan Suforna opened Hot Box BBQ in downtown Rockford, at 110 Courtland St., on Oct. 17.

They lease the space from Plainfield Township-based DAR Development.

Ondersma said she and Suforna chose to locate the restaurant in Rockford for its “community” appeal.

“We chose Rockford, because it is a great location and community with great people in general, and we wanted to be a part of that,” Ondersma said. “It has been a dream come true for both of us to open the doors to this great little joint of ours.”

Ondersma said apart from family, Hot Box BBQ has no employees at this time.

Hot Box BBQ has seating for seven at a window-facing bar, but it mostly concentrates on serving takeout.


Hot Box BBQ’s menu features sandwiches — including a vegetarian option — along with meats, sides and desserts, including sweet potato pie and key lime tart.

The restaurant uses an indoor-outdoor meat smoker to prepare its meats and makes all sauces in house, according to Ondersma.


The restaurant opens at 11 a.m. Monday through Saturday.

It closes when the food is gone.

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