Big O Burgers and Barbecue expands with Midland location

Fans of Big O Burgers and Barbecue, based in Saginaw, can now enjoy housemade barbecue, burgers, brisket, tacos, and more, in Midland.  Big O’s, located at 111 W. Wackerly Street, on Feb. 3. The idea began as a retirement plan, but the owner, Omar Linder, says things fell into place a lot sooner. 

“I worked for Dow Chemical, and they sold us to SK, and we got a severance pay. That severance pay is what I used to open the first Big O Burgers and Barbecue in December 2019 in Saginaw,” Linder says. 

Linder says he has always had a passion for barbecue and food, but didn’t picture himself in the hospitality industry until after retirement. “God opened doors and made everything happen a little faster than my vision, but we all work off his vision, so here I am,” he says.

Chicken wings are on the menu at Big O.
The Saginaw community was full of faithful customers, which Linder attributes to the high quality of the menu items. He thought about expanding the brand to another community, and started looking here. “I had been looking for a location in Midland for about two years,” Linder says.

“We want to be active in the Midland community just like we are here in Saginaw. We want to be tied into community events and activities. The main thing we want to do though, is give everybody great food and good service, and have people come in and feel welcome into our establishment, and feel at home.”

The restaurant had a grand opening on Feb. 3, and is currently open Thursday through Saturday, with expanded hours once fully-staffed. The restaurant was voted the best burger & barbecue in Saginaw County in 2022, says Linder. Popular menu items include the Big O burger, the Lil O Mac & Cheeseburger, rib tip bucket, The Shroom burger, mac & cheese, and peach cobbler. 

“I think what sets us apart is our preparation. We cook everything low and slow, and take our time with it. All the sides are made from scratch,” Linder says. 
Big O Burgers and Barbecue is located at 111 W. Wackerly Street in Midland.
The restaurant is 2100 square feet, and has a dine-in area that fits 51 people. The hours and menu will expand with time, says Linder. “We’re opening in stages in Midland because we don’t have enough people trained up, so some things aren’t available in Midland just yet. I don’t want to overwhelm the help I do have. We’ll add new things as we go,” he says. 

So far, the Midland community has been supportive and patient with the new restaurant, says Linder. Once fully-staffed, he plans to expand hours to five days a week, roll out more menu items like tacos, stuffed baked potatoes, stuffed smoked potatoes, and milkshakes. 

Big O Burgers and Barbecue is open Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Currently, the restaurant is open for dine-in. Call-in orders, online orders and delivery options are in the works for the future. 

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Sarah Spohn is a Lansing native, but every day finds a new interesting person, place, or thing in towns all over Michigan, leaving her truly smitten with the mitten. She received her degrees in journalism and professional communications and provides coverage for various publications locally, regionally, and nationally — writing stories on small businesses, arts and culture, dining, community, and anything Michigan-made. You can find her in a record shop, a local concert, or eating one too many desserts at a bakery. If by chance, she’s not at any of those places, you can contact her at