By HOWARD BALABAN
Medina Journal-Register — The downtown area of Medina now has its own barbecue restaurant.
Baby Ribs opened for business Thursday in time for the lunch rush, and it was an instant hit.
“It’s a wonder the door hasn’t fallen off its hinges,” said a smiling Eula Collins, who owns the establishment with her husband Rupert.
Collins said the response on day one was “very sensational” with “overwhelming support.” She said a lot of business people, organizations, and many people on their lunch breaks stopped into the former computer store to sample the fare on Thursday.
The restaurant’s specialty is barbecue chicken and ribs with a Caribbean flair. For the time being, Baby Ribs will serve mainly a take-out menu. There are a few tables set up outside the restaurant for patrons who wish to enjoy decent weather. Along with the menu, Baby Ribs also sells bottles of Jamaican hot sauce and barbecue sauce.
The main sauce used is that of “Mrs. Ribs,” who was Collins’s mother. The recipe was passed down to her, and for many years the tangy treat was only available at county fairs.
About two years ago she started thinking of creating a “home base” and roughly 10 months ago that process began in earnest.
“We worked steady every day to find a place and to do exactly what we wanted to do,” Collins said.
She chose Medina because she and her mother are from the village. Also, having been working the fairs for the past several years, she said she sensed a demand for the type of food Baby Ribs will offer.
One customer who came in for a late lunch was Joe Newton of Medina. He smelled the barbecue from the road, and decided to stop in for a taste.
“I just wanted to check it out and give it a try,” he said. “It should be good, and it’s different than pizza and wings. I’ll give it a shot, I’ll like it, and I’ll come back.”
Medina Business Association President Cindy Robinson also tried out Baby Ribs Thursday, and came away satisfied. She said adding a place like Baby Ribs to the business district could help bring more people to downtown since it adds to the variety of food choices available.
And more people are coming thanks to the GCC Civil War Encampment planned for this weekend. That event means it is likely that the hinges on the front door at Baby Ribs will continue to be tested.
“I just decided to pick this day (to open) and I stuck with it,” Collins said. “I couldn’t have picked a better opening weekend.”