Former Lions great opens barbecue restaurant

Sunday Times Newspapers

LINCOLN PARK — It’s here: The long awaited Billy Sims Barbecue opened Friday at 3695 Dix, bringing a new business to town combined with the star power of one of Detroit’s most revered sports heroes.

“I am proud to be opening our second Michigan location in Lincoln Park,” Sims said. “Since we opened the Southfield Billy Sims Barbecue we have received a lot of requests for a Downriver location. The wait is over.”

Detroit Lions fans hoping to meet the legendary running back are invited to a grand opening from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 27.

Sims joined the Lions in 1980 after the Oklahoma Sooner won the Heisman Trophy, and he helped transform a struggling 2-14 franchise into a 9-7 playoff team. His career ended in 1984 because of a knee injury, and his brief career included three trips to the Pro Bowl.

After football Sims returned to his native Texas and turned his passion for barbecue into a lucrative business with 20 locations in Oklahoma, two in Missouri and now two in Michigan. A Southfield store opened in August complete with in-store appearances by Sims and fellow former Lion and Sooner Steve Owens.

Billy Sims Barbecue is open from 11 a.m. to 9 .m. seven days a week. Contact the restaurant at 313-791-7346.

(James Mitchell can be reached at