Barry Shelton is living his lifelong dream. He always dreamt of owning his own restaurant, and seven years ago his dream finally became a reality. Since then, Holy Smokes BBQ has been the place to go for great barbeque with some serious flavor.
Shelton began hickory-smoking barbecue in 2009 for church functions, and in 2012, he started selling his mouth-watering barbecued pork, ribs and chicken from a 6x24 trailer across from the Five Points Dairy Bar he built himself.
It was a great business, but Shelton had dreams.
“I had my eye on this building the entire time,” he said.
The building was originally constructed in 1940 and was used as a general store by the Gardener family.
“They sold sandwiches and different meats along with grocery items,” Shelton said. “Before that, they had a rolling store that would go from house to house.”
“This building was empty the whole time I was at the other place,” he continued, “and I kept thinking it would make a great barbecue place. It has the right look.”
For three months, Shelton, his wife Carrie, and their nine children worked to get the building ready.
As it turned out, he was right– it is the perfect place for a barbecue restaurant.
The food is even better.
At Holy Smokes, piles of juicy, hickory-smoked Boston Butt, fall-off-the-bone ribs, and tender, juicy chicken await you, so come hungry. They even added burgers to the menu. Shelton said those have become a fan favorite.
“I cook around 80 pounds of barbecue every two days,” Shelton said. “That’s not including the ribs and chicken. I work about 80 hours a week, but I love it.”
“I created my own dry rub years ago,” he continued, “and I also make my own barbecue sauce. It’s vinegar based and we have hot, mild, and sweet heat.”
Shelton also makes the baked beans and slaw and serves up some mighty fine potato salad to go along with it.
“Like my momma, I put in a little of this and a little of that when I cook,” he said with a smile. “But I’ve learned that you have to write things down, especially when creating dry rubs. I made one a long time ago that was delicious, but I couldn’t remember what went in there when it was finished.
“People who don’t really eat a lot of barbecue say they love mine,” he said. “I try to get the flavor just right every single time because I want my customers to be happy.”
If you are in the mood for something a little different, take some advice and tear into a plate of Shelton’s barbecue nachos, but bring a friend, because this dish is huge.
“We put one pound of barbecue on top of a double serving of nacho chips covered in cheese,” Shelton said. “Then we put our homemade baked beans, sour cream and jalapeno peppers and top it off with barbecue sauce. It will easily feed two people.”
Shelton enjoys the hard work that comes with owning a restaurant. He had tried it twice before, but it did not work out. Shelton said he did not focus enough time into running the restaurants. For him, the day to day work reminds him of the blessing he says God has bestowed upon him.
“I give God all the credit for this place. It’s all Him and I feel so blessed. I appreciate every one of my customers and want every visit to Holy Smokes to be just what they expected. I strive to do that,” said Shelton.
Holy Smokes is open from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday through Thursday. They close at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and they are closed on Sunday. For more information, or to place an order call 256-607-8738.