Bett and Bev’s BBQ, a Jefferson favorite, coming to Perry

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Just in time to celebrate July Fourth and the Perry Sesquicentennial, Bett and Bev's BBQ at 408 First Ave. will open at the end of the month.

Bett and Bev’s BBQ, the popular smokehouse barbecue restaurant operating under the overpass in Jefferson, will soon open a Perry location at 408 First Ave., just south of the Verizon store.

Adam Glawe of Jefferson opened Bett and Bev’s BBQ in 2008, and the business — the motto is “Smoked slow . . . Served fast!” — has so far prospered that a Perry franchise is in order.

Jefferson native Kyle Roeder will operate the Perry franchise, which he plans to open in the next few months.

“We’ve got a few major things that still have to happen with the building,” Roder said, “but we’ll be open by spring, for sure.”

Roeder has worked eight years with Glawe at Bett and Bev’s BBQ, although he studied vocal music at Drake University and gave up a promising operatic career to move home and served pulled pork and beans.

“I worked in the field for a couple of years and decided that I wanted to come back and do barbecue,” he said. “I lived abroad for a while. I’ve actually performed in 12 different countries and had a decent go at a career, but it was just too much stress for me. I always loved coming back to work, so I told Adam that I was interested in opening a second location, and he was all on board from minute one.”

Any regrets about giving up the bright lights of the big city?

“I do miss opera a little bit,” Roeder said, “but I love doing this kind of work. Do what you love, and you never work a day in your life, and I feel like I hardly work at all.”

Roeder said he will be looking to hire three or four Perry-area people to get the kitchen open and running. Among the popular favorites at Bett and Bev’s BBQ is the frip pie, made on a bed of French-fried potato chips and piled high with pulled pork, baked beans and coleslaw.

“It’s basically our version barbecued nachos,” he said.

Smoked chicken, prime rib, baby back ribs — all the smoked meats Iowans love will be available at Bett and Bev’s and at a prices that are family friendly.

Bett and Bev were the names of Glawe’s grandmothers, Betty Mae Johnston and Beverly Glawe, both born and raised in Greene County.

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