VANDERCOOK LAKE, MI — Rae and Dartagka Tipton didn’t expect to open a restaurant in 2021, but when the opportunity to serve all the foods they can’t find in Jackson came up, they jumped.
“It just fell in our lap and we said, ‘You know what, let’s go ahead and just take a chance and see what happens,’” Rae Tipton said.
“4 Tha Soul,” a drive-thru family-owned restaurant is planning to open this month at 107 Hague Ave. near Vandercook Lake in Summit Township. The menu highlights a “spin on soul food” with a special emphasis on the couple’s favorite foods they seem to always have to travel to find.
“Our menu is based off of, what do we leave town because we can’t get it in Jackson?” Rae Tipton said.
There’s fried lamb chops, seafood mac and cheese, chicken or shrimp alfredo and loaded potatoes. Dinner entrees range from a $12 pot roast with a side to $40 for two pounds of lamb chops.
But the menu doesn’t stop at comfort foods.
There’s a section for specialty hot dogs, including one unique creation named after UFC fighter and Jackson native Khaos Williams. It’s loaded with bacon and grilled corn and topped with chipotle lime habanero sauce, cilantro mayo and crushed hot Cheetos.
“We went to Vegas and we went to the specialty dog place, and they had all these wild crazy dogs and my husband absolutely fell in love with them,” Rae Tipton said. “We put things that he liked off of different dogs and mixed it all up together and came up with that one. We wanted to make sure it was over the top, especially with it being named after Khaos.”
Rae Tipton worked in restaurants around Jackson for years in serving and management, but said being a business owner has been a new challenge for the family. They have spent the last month taking online business classes, preparing licenses and meeting with vendors to get quality ingredients.
“We don’t want to just serve food just to make a dollar,” Rae Tipton said. “It really comes from us. This is stuff that we enjoy making, we enjoy eating. It’s really important to us to make sure that we get the proper ingredients and it’s coming from the right place.”
4 Tha Soul is having a soft opening with a limited menu from 3 to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 13-14. Regular restaurant hours begin Tuesday, Feb. 16. Hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
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