Backyard Grill in the News
The following article appeared int the Rockford Register Star newspaper on July 6, 2010:
The Dish: Backyard Grill & Bar menu has family feel, hickory taste
By Rebecca Burlette
After working at chain restaurants for years, Rich Schmidt wanted to do something different.
“(I wanted a) fresher feel. Like a family barbecue,” said Schmidt.
He was working at an Applebees when he met Martin Elliott around 1993. A mutual friend told them about a restaurant going out of business.
The soon-to-be vacant location was in Loves Park, 6473 N. Second St.
Schmidt and Elliott agreed if one was going to go for it, the other would, too, so in 1996, Backyard Grill & Bar opened in the Loves Park location.
“We have these specially made grills that cook over hickory wood. That’s where there the name Backyard Grill came from,” said Schmidt.
The restaurant’s decor also has a backyard feel, from the outdoor scenery painted on the walls to the garden hose that adorns it, Schmidt said they wanted customers to feel at home.
He also credits his staff for the restaurant’s warm feel.
“We have great employees with longevity. … Lots of our guests come on nights that their favorite server or bartender is working,” he said.
In fact, Backyard Grill & Bar’s Loves Park location was such a hit that in 1998, they expanded to Cherry Valley and in 1999, a location was opened in Roscoe.
“(We opened) three stores in a short time,” he said.
The restaurant even expanded into several area Woodman’s locations where their sauces and seasonings are available for sale.
But it is Backyard’s items that are prepared from scratch that Schmidt is most proud of. All of the restaurant’s burgers are hand-pattied, the ribs are cooked from scratch and the barbecue pork is a homemade product as well. Backyard also is now cooking their own french fries.
“(You can) feel best about it because it’s not someoene else’s. It’s not a predone product,” he said.
Link to the article: Backyard Grill and Bar History
The following article appeared int the Rockford Register Star newspaper on November 7, 2010:
Backyard Grill & Bars to offer veterans, troops free steaks
In honor of Veterans Day, the Rockford-area Backyard Grill & Bars are offering a free New York strip steak dinner to all U.S. veterans and current active-duty military on Thursday.
The area Backyard Grill & Bars are located at 5390 Elevator Road in Roscoe, 6473 N. Second St. in Loves Park, and 201 E. State St. in Cherry Valley.
Link to the article: Backyard Grill and Bar to Offer Free Steaks to Veterans
The following letter to the editor appeared int the Rockford Register Star newspaper on November 26, 2010:
Letter: Restaurant offers meal for veterans
A Nov. 20 letter to the editor thanked many restaurants for giving veterans a free meal on Veterans Day and rightfully so.
All the restaurants mentioned were large chain outlets, and hats off to them. What was not mentioned was a locally owned group, Backyard Grill and Bar.
Their three locations served what was probably the best of any of the free vets dinners: a New York strip steak with all the trimmings. The meal and staff at Backyard Grill and Bar couldn’t be topped.
I just wanted to see that these fine locals got acknowledged. We Korea veterans know the disappointment of being forgotten.
— Bruce Macdonald, vice commander, Korean War Veterans Association Chapter 272
Link to the letter: http: Backyard Grill and Bar Offers Meals to Veterans