Detroit-based barbecue joint Bert’s Marketplace now has a stand at Comerica Park

Detroit Free Press

Sniff the air at Comerica Park during game days and special events and you might get a whiff of the signature barbecue of a well-known Eastern Market joint.

A single weekend pop-up of tasty barbecue in June at Comerica Park from the legendary Bert’s Marketplace appears to have been a hit.

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Bert’s Marketplace concession stand will now be around for the rest of the season during weekend Detroit Tigers ballgames and special events at Comerica Park. The stand is located near the Fly Ball Ferris Wheel.

“It’s amazing. It’s a really good time,” Jai Dearing, owner and son of the founder of the 57-year-old Detroit-based family business, said in a news release. “You can smell the barbecue everywhere in the park.”

Bert’s Marketplace is the first Black-owned barbecue concession stand at Comerica Park.

On the menu is Bert’s famous and huge Oh My Good Burger. The 1-pound sirloin patty is grilled and then topped with Bert’s Marketplace pulled pork that has been marinated in its signature barbecue sauce.

Also on its ballpark menu are Bert’s smoked barbecue ribs, slow smoked pulled pork sandwiches, sides of mac and cheese, baked beans and cole slaw.

For sausage lovers, there’s Bert’s spicy Kickn’ Chicken sausage served on a bun with onions. The sausage is from Safari Meats, a Detroit-based, Black-owned meat processor. Dearing also sources the spicy Red Hot sausages, served with onions on a bun, from Dearborn Sausage. Both offerings are exclusive to Bert’s stand.

Bert’s Marketplace has been in Detroit for decades. In the Eastern Market district, Bert’s Marketplace entertainment complex is on Russell Street and includes a restaurant, jazz and comedy clubs. The restaurant’s food offerings not only have its famous barbecue items but its signature soul food and fried chicken dishes. Bert’s fried chicken is based on Aretha Franklin’s fried chicken recipe, tweaks and guidance on making it, according to the Dearing family.

Bert’s Marketplace made its debut during the 20th annual Negro Leagues Weekend at Comerica Park, according to Ilitch Sports + Entertainment.

Upcoming dates for other Black-owned businesses new to Comerica Park are Breadless (Aug. 5-7), Shell Shock’d Tacos (Aug. 19-21) and Yum Village (Sept. 2-4 and Sept. 30-Oct. 1).

Contact Detroit Free Press food writer Susan Selasky and send food and restaurant news to: Follow @SusanMariecooks on Twitter.

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