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Profiles In Black: Mr. G's Restaurant

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By James Shanklin –

In March 2007, a Dairy Queen located on Limonite was replaced by Mr. G’s BBQ, selling southern style food to Riverside customers, varying from chicken, fish, collard greens and much more. And, more than two years later, Mr. G’s is still being ran successfully by founder Donald Gibson.

In 2007, Donald and his wife, Sandra Gibson, had moved to Riverside from Los Angeles, where Donald owned a restaurant, House of Burgers, and saw that Riverside was lacking a quality soul food place. So, they brought their experience from Los Angeles to Riverside County and brought chicken, greens, and black eyed peas to the city.

In two years, Gibson has accumulated loyal customers without much advertisement although he works everyday to try to put his name out there, starting with having a sign out on the Plaza’s marquee which can be seen by anyone driving down Limonite.

But currently, the plaza’s landlord is refusing to display the BBQ’s location on the marquee.

“I just want a successful restaurant. I’m one of the only soul food restaurants in Riverside and advertisements are extremely important,” said Donald Gibson, “Hundreds of cars go down Limonite, if I had a sign people will come in from simply seeing the sign.”

Mr. G’s BBQ has one of the most colorful places in the plaza, with a purple wall and fire red and yellow letters shining off the large bold letters on the building.

But for now, customers who have not been there already will have to spot it once they pull into the plaza which also has a Starbucks and Edwards Cinema.

The interior of Mr. G’s restaurant creates a relaxing ambiance for customers with visual televised entertainment, and customer service that Gibson finds to be the most important aspect of his business.

“Each employee I personally picked. We need them to be courteous, asking customers how they are and saying ‘goodbye’ as they leave,” Gibson said.

But it’s not just the customer service that keeps Mr. G’s open, the food is cooked fresh at the time of order and everything on his menu seems to be a customer favorite from the catfish, to the chicken, pork chops, red beans and rice.

“People don’t describe my food as ‘okay’ but as ‘ very very good’ or ‘excellent,” Gibson said.

Mr. G’s is closed Monday and Tuesday but is open from 10:30-9 from Wednesday to Friday and 10:30-8 on Saturday and Sunday.

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