John Reaves

In the early 70s, our dad John Reaves was known for his legendary hickory-smoked hams and turkeys. His food was so loved people started asking if they could buy his barbecue.
He soon realized he was happiest in front of a smoker providing great food for loved ones. So in 1976, he turned his passion into a career and opened his first restaurant.

Alongside “Smokey” John, our mom Gloria (“Mama Reaves”) and cousin Douglas “Rent” Spraglin played a huge role in building the restaurant’s legacy. Mama Reaves was a whiz with customers, bookkeeping, and décor while Rent was the ultimate pitmaster—he could grab meat straight off the pit with his bare hands! 
Although our founders are no longer with us, their impact is felt in everything we do. Smokey John’s has always been family-owned and -operated, and we’re intentional about extending that family spirit to our customers. It’s what’s made us a favorite spot for friends, families, and co-workers to gather and take a break from their day for over forty years. 

Our story

We hope to serve you soon!

How smokey's got its name

One afternoon, Big John’s was filled with smoke from a pit fire. A regular walked in and declared, “Y’all should really call this place Smokey John’s!” From that day on, Dad did!

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1.888.70.SJBBQ (75227)


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