By Zoe Matthews
A few blocks past the Smoke Shop and around the corner from Everettes’, there is a sanctuary for anyone who loves barbeque and soul food. Head down Blackhawk Street and you’ll find a patch of asphalt leading to a mobile home and cabin-style building plastered with signs reading “Ms. Vikki’s Ribs”. If you’re there on the weekend, breathe deeply and enjoy the smell of roasting meat and sweet, smoky bbq sauce. Step into the lodge, and you’ll see posters for movies like “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” and “Barbershop II” as well as pictures of Michael Jackson and Barack Obama. This place has more character than you’ll find at most other establishments serving food of such a high quality.
The Round Table was lucky enough to speak with Vicky Ivy, local entrepreneur and owner of Ms. Vikki’s, about the place.
Round Table:Why did you decide to open Ms. Vikki’s?
Vicky Ivy: I love barbeque and there was nowhere to purchase it nearby. There was a real lack of ethnic food in the area and we thought we could change that. Besides, I love cooking and expecially grilling.
RT: How long have you been in business?
VI: This is our second time around, so we’ve only been open here for a little more than three months. We’ve been at it for three years, but we had some problems the first time, not knowing so much about running a buisiness. The restaurant used to be indoors but we ran into some trouble with changing laws so now we have the mobile unit. I hope we’ll be able move the kitchen back inside soon, but we’ll still keep the mobile unit so we can drive it around town.
RT: How many employees do you have?
VI: No employees yet, all our workers are volunteers– friends and family trying to get this place started again.
RT: You certainly have interesting décor in here, what can you tell me about it?
VI: All the posters are for motion pictures directed by my cousin, Calvin Sullivan. When he finishes making a movie he always sends me a poster. There are a few more that he should be sending me soon. There’s also a picture of me with my niece. Her name is Natasha Evans and she just got hired with Tyler Perry. She’s going to be on BET soon; I’m trying to get her back here for a Blues Fest we’ll be having. She is an amazing singer.
RT: Is there anything you want college students to know about Ms. Vikki’s?
VI: We’re very friendly and try to have a reasonable menu for people on a budget. We’ll start having red beans and rice, dirty rice, and bbq fries soon and we’ll be doing Soulfood Sundays starting in the winter. And we deliver.
RT: All the way to the college?
VI: All the way to the college.
Ms. Vikki’s is open Fridays and Saturdays from one to eleven p.m. and Sundays from one to eight. Call815-389-1479 to order, but give an extra half an hour for the fried chicken so Ms. Vicky can “fry it up fresh” for you.