By Sarah Plummer
For the owners of Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, just opened on North Eisenhower Drive in Beckley, barbecue is not only about good food, it’s about friends, family and having a good time.
It’s the passion for grilling and breaking bread that got owners Preston and Stephanie Reeves interested in opening their own business.
Preston explained that during his seven years in the Air Force, he often found himself behind the grill.
“I had a passion for it that has followed me into my other careers,” he said. “Later when I worked the night shift here locally, I would drag my grill into work and cook for the guys. It really is a passion; it is just in my soul at this point.”
After retiring from 27 years of federal service, the Reeves didn’t know what to do next.
“Although we are from Shady Spring and Crab Orchard, we were actually thinking about leaving the state to find work,” he shared. “I ended up deciding to follow my passion and create my own job.”
Stephanie said Beckley’s Dickey’s has 20 employees.
“It is really great to be able to create jobs here locally and help others who are looking for work,” she added.
And when the Reeves found the Dickey’s franchise online, they knew it was the one.
Dickey’s first opened nationally in 1941 but didn’t franchise until 1994, Preston said.
“People say they love mom and pop barbecue. Well, this may be a franchise, but they are still a mom and pop barbecue restaurant. They have kept their family’s way of doing things over the years,” he explained.
The Reeves attended Barbecue University in Texas as a part of applying for the rights to open a Dickey’s in West Virginia.
“It was no joke. They are very serious about their barbecue,” he shared.
Since the restaurant opened on Oct. 25, they have had a steady stream of customers and great reviews.
They said they have seen familiar faces back for seconds already.
On their first day open, a customer who had dinner that night was one of the first people in for lunch the next day.
The owners said they are already feeling connected to the community in a new way, which is something Dickey’s encourages.
“One of the reasons we were so happy to choose this company is because they support communities and schools and encourage us to do fundraisers,” he said.
Their first fundraiser, for Crab Orchard Baptist Church, got under way Thursday.
In addition to great lunch and dinner options, Dickey’s offers catering, dine-in or carry-out, and they smoke spiral cut hams and Cajun style turkeys for the holidays.
Other sides, like their cornbread dressing, are also available to be ordered for the holidays.
All meats are smoked on the premises for 13 to 14 hours and are marinated for 24.
Dickey’s is open every day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sundays kids under age 12 eat free with a paying adult.
Patrons can choose their favorite barbecue sauce, heated and ready to go, and each customer gets a free soft serve ice cream for dessert.
For more information, visit Dickeys.com and join the Big Yellow Cup Club for exclusive offers and promotions or call the local store, 255-PORK.
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