The first location opened exactly 10 years after the 9/11 attacks with a "mission" to give back, and now the fourth location in Illinois is about to have its grand opening.

The restaurant was conceived after two friends traveled the country to find the best barbecue and sauces while wanting to start a business that has "meaning and purpose."

One is a former Under Armour executive, the other a restaurant exec that was previously with Outback Steakhouse, Bill Kraus and Steve Newton opened their first Mission BBQ in Maryland and are about to cut the ribbon on the first location in Rockford, IL.

Every day we strive to serve you authentic BBQ made from the freshest, most delectable ingredients and serve it to you in a patriotic dining room filled with tributes to those who’ve made Our Country great, given to us by the people who earned them. -Bill Kraus and Steve Newton, via

Mission BBQ's grand opening celebration at 6820 E. State Street in Rockford is planned for Tuesday, October 11 at noon and will start with a ribbon cutting ceremony, the national anthem, color guard, and a World War II veteran as the guest of honor.

Credit: Johnny Vincent, Townsquare Media
Credit: Johnny Vincent, Townsquare Media

While the new restaurant location doesn't officially open until tomorrow (Tuesday), they already welcomed in local heroes last week for a Military Appreciation Night, and nights for local responders in Rockford.

The walls of the Mission BBQ in Rockford are covered in photos and memorabilia from local veterans, police, and fire departments, and if you stop into the restaurant during lunchtime you'll likely catch the "daily salute to the Stars and Stripes."

What's on the menu at Mission BBQ? Pulled pork, brisket, turkey, pulled chicken, sausage, and smoked salmon. Baby back and spare ribs are there too. And don't forget the side dishes like baked beans, coleslaw, mac and cheese, and fresh-cut fries.

Other locations of Mission BBQ in Illinois include Downers Grove, Gurnee, and Naperville. Wisconsin has locations in Green Bay, Brookfield, and Kenosha.

LOOK: 34 spooky dessert recipes for this Halloween


What Are the Signature Drinks From Every State?

More From Rockford's New Country Q98.5