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Kelvin & Co Urban BBQ (Downtown)

May 26, 2021

  • 312 S. Kalamazoo Mall
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49007
  • (833) 535-8467
  • Website
  • Menu

BBQ.  Man, I can’t get enough of it.  Whenever I’m asked what my favorite meal is, I pause for a second.  I want to say hamburgers…or pizza…or wings…but is it though?  BBQ is always the meal that makes my mouth water just by saying the three letters out loud.  

There was a great BBQ option downtown when my company moved in to an office in Kalamazoo.  I would walk often to the original Kelvin & Co. Urban BBQ location on Michigan Avenue.  One day, I walked down there for lunch and it was closed.  Sign was in the window saying the restaurant wouldn’t be re-opening.  

There have been other Kelvin & Company locations over the last four years and I’ve been a frequent visitor to them all.  Portage had a location.  So did Grand Rapids.  And there’s still a store on West Main Street that I patronize rather frequently.  

Kelvin & Co. has moved back to downtown but not in a traditional sense.  There is no big storefront.  Just a walk up window on the Kalamazoo Mall.  

Kelvin & Co. Urban BBQ opened a walk-up a few weeks ago in a space that has been a juice bar and a coffee shop in recent memory.  The small shop is right next to Mlive on the Kalamazoo Mall just south of South Street.  They’re only open three days a week and they only take cash.  The menu is a little smaller but it’s still delicious BBQ within walking distance of my desk chair.  

I had been putting off going because of the cash thing. I never carry cash but there are ATM’s on the mall so the day I finally decided to get my butt out of the office, I hit an ATM.

I walked up right at 11:00 as they were opening on a Thursday. I already knew my order. I always get the same thing. I picked the brisket and jalapeno mac. The lone employee working the window had my meal boxed up in less than five minutes. I paid the $10.25 then headed back to the office to eat. There are some community tables along the mall but I prefer the comfort of my little space in a big office building.

The meat was on point. The to-go container was filled with thick, tender, juicy chunks of brisket. I had some of the Texas BBQ sauce but you really don’t need it with this meat. I never realized just how good Kelvin & Co. is until I made the mistake of being lazy and stopping at Dickies one day last week. Tender, juicy BBQ is a delicious science that Kelvin & Co. has mastered and something that should truly be appreciated.

I picked the Jalapeno Mac for a side like I always do and……well….not sure what to say here.

I have always loved the Jalapeno Mac. The Mac & Cheese on it’s own is delicious but the little bits of jalapeno have always put it on another level. I assumed I was getting the same Jalapeno Mac I have always gotten from Kelvin & Co. but that was not the case. This Jalapeno Mac was the regular Mac & Cheese with chopped Jalapenos and onions put on top. Onions?! Kelvin & Co. has never had onions on their Jalapeno Mac. I think I’ve made it pretty well known over the last 11 years that I am not a fan of onions so this was disappointing. I used my fork to get out as many of the onions as I could but that also took out a lot of the jalapenos. The Mac & Cheese is delicious without the jalapenos so it wasn’t a total wash here…just disappointing to see something that I have had and loved so many times be something different.

I love that Kelvin & Co is back downtown. I was sad when they left because it was a go-to for lunch. They’re only open Wednesday, Thursday, Friday at the moment but three days is more than enough to get my BBQ fix.

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