New Smoke Pit location on Faith Road poised to open after extensive renovation process

Published 12:10 am Friday, August 6, 2021

SALISBURY — With renovations to its new location wrapping up, The Smoke Pit’s move from downtown Salisbury to Faith Road is imminent.

The barbecue restaurant, known for its brisket, ribs and pulled pork, has been preparing for its move from 117 E. Innes St. to 509 Faith Road since the restaurant’s owners purchased the building earlier this year. As construction crews work to put the finishing touches on the restaurant, owners are preparing to open by the end of August.

The Smoke Pit opened in downtown Salisbury in 2017, about three years after co-owners Devin Barbee, Joey Graham and Jeremy Beaver opened the original location in Concord. The barbecue chain also has locations in Monroe and Gastonia.

While many local diners recognize the building on Faith Road as the former home of Wink’s Barbecue, the structure has been transformed over the previous several months and might be unrecognizable on the inside to someone who has dined there before.

The total overhaul of the 6,5000-square-foot building has been lengthy and expensive, costing about $800,000. Everything from the bathrooms to the kitchen have been gutted and replaced. The kitchen has been equipped with a new walk-in cooler and three smokers, two of which are brand new and one that was brought from the downtown location.

The dining room will be able to accommodate 160 customers, who will eat at wooden tables crafted by Faith-based company Gardner Interiors. There will be booths and long tables to accommodate larger parties.

A small part of the building will be solely dedicated to handle to-go orders. The station has its own door, and there will be dedicated to-go parking outside. There are about 50 total parking spots at the new location.

The restaurant’s owners believe the expensive renovations will be worth it.

“We’re trying to make it more of an experience,” Graham said. “We’re getting away from the paper cups and plastic silverware. We’re going to have real silverware, real glasses. We want to make it a destination for Rowan.”

The new location will have a new bar area that will serve beer and mixed alcoholic beverages, including moonshine margaritas and watermelon lemonade.

The Smoke Pit is also planning on adding an “all you can eat” option to the menu. For a little under $30, customers can order an endless supply of ribs, brisket and sides. There will be a kids “all you can eat” option as well, which will cost around $10.

Endless meats and sides aren’t the only change coming to the menu. The Smoke Pit will bring back its fan-favorite cheeseburger and is considering adding a breakfast menu.

With its larger kitchen and additional smokers, the new building will allow The Smoke Pit to meet the demand for its catering services.

“We’re probably the biggest caterer in Rowan County, volume wise,” Graham said. “We’re going to be able to double or triple what we’ve been doing.”

Although it may seem like it, not everything inside Smoke Pit’s future home is brand new. The restaurant has installed its old-chalkboard sign from its original location, drawn by an employee and preserved permanently with hairspray. Some familiar artwork from downtown will be hung on the walls as well.

Graham said Smoke Pit fans will only have to live without their ribs or brisket for a week from the time the downtown location closes and the new spot opens. That week will be utilized to train new staff members and bring longtime employees up to date.

The Smoke Pit is still hiring kitchen and wait staff for the new location. More information can be found by calling 704-796-7082 or emailing Justin@thesmokepitnc.com.