Smokey Joe’s BBQ Celebrates 40 Years


Kris Manning, owner of Smokey Joe's | Image by WFAA

Located at 6407 South R. L. Thornton Fwy, Smokey Joe’s BBQ has been in business for nearly 40 years and has been a staple in southern Dallas and continues to serve communities in Dallas with delicious BBQ.

Started by Joe Melton, who has since passed on, and Kenneth Manning, Smokey Joe’s was a hole-in-the-wall Texas BBQ joint that started in a small shack that many people in the city grew to love.

In the 90s, Smokey Joe’s had an old-school style brick pit, but it “kept causing fire,” said Kris Manning, owner of Smokey Joe’s, speaking to The Dallas Express.

Manning is the son of Kenneth Manning. He bought the restaurant from his father in 2013 at 23 years old and has transformed the restaurant, bringing it into the modern era of BBQ.

He has upgraded to two steel offset smokers while still being able to keep the original flavor and add a new Texas BBQ style.

Smokey Joe’s is just one of the many hidden gems in the city of Dallas.

Smokey Joe’s is best known for their pork spareribs, loaded baked potatoes, and famous buttermilk pie.

In 2017 Manning traveled to Austin to advance his pallet in brisket.

“I went down to Austin, and I had tried Terry Blacks BBQ and that’s when I had learned like wow, I’ve never tasted brisket like that in my life,” said Manning.

“So that really fueled my fire to really learn about all the different styles of BBQing, which I’m glad I did that because I would’ve never been exposed to brisket being cooked like that,” Manning told The Dallas Express.

He said after changing the brisket recipe, he lost customers.

“It definitely came with a lot of headaches because, obviously, our customers weren’t used to something different,” said Manning.

When asked if changing the brisket recipe was worth it, Manning told The Dallas Express, “One hundred percent it was worth it.” His customer base increased.

Manning changed the brisket recipe and has since seen even more of an increase in customers.

For years Smokey Joe’s has been known for their ribs, and now, while they boast having some of the best ribs in the city, they now serve some of the best brisket in Dallas.

Smokey Joe’s might be just a BBQ joint, but to the community it serves, it has given long-lasting memories of food that has helped bring people together.

The community impact of Smokey Joe’s BBQ restaurant has been known and felt throughout Dallas’s southern sector for years.

Providing food to shelters, youth basketball camps, and serving food at the Ronald McDonald House, Smokey Joe’s has solidified itself as a local treasure that many in the community cherish.

Texas boasts the nation’s best BBQ and BBQ restaurant owners such as Manning enjoy what he does while leaving customers happy and satisfied.

“I like the facial expression when someone enjoys your food and has a great experience,” said Manning. “We work hard to get your food a certain way and make sure it’s to a certain standard.”

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25 days ago

Great article.