Have a craving for juicy barbecue? The Across the Creek Smokery opened up on July 21 at 961 N. Bridge St. Owned by Krissi Wood and Karalee Roberts, the restaurant offers home-cooked barbecue and southern cooking to residents.
Born in Ferguson, Wood and Roberts have always dreamed of opening a restaurant. They have cooked extensively for organizations, school cafeterias and churches through the years and wanted to share their food with everyone.
The smokery also has special treats. They do pignics, where they offer three to four or seven to eight person meal deals. The restaurant also hosts a hot bar, and the kitchen comes with a Southern Pride smoker used for smoking barbecue, chicken halves, ribs, and whole jumbo chicken wings.
“That’s what makes your barbecue good, if you have a smoker,” said Wood. “Anyone can order it out of a bucket, but we buy our raw pork butts and smoke them with our own seasoning and we pull them and make our own homemade sauces for the seasoning. We smoke our meat at lower temperatures for a long period of time, sometimes over 12 hours. Smoking at a low temp at a long time breaks down the fat cap in it and makes our barbecue very juicy and flavorful.”
Wood and Roberts pride themselves on selling fresh, homemade food.
“All of our sides are homemade; our potato salad, macaroni salad, slaw, mac and cheese, green beans, baked beans, and our desserts,” said Wood. “Our moms taught us everything we know. I learned the majority from Rose Glen Village in Wilkes, worked with some seasoned cooks there and they trained me and taught me lot. We’re also ServSafe certified where we completed a 12-hour class that teaches you proper procedures for handling food.”
Business has been going pretty good so far for Wood and Roberts.
“It’s been a little slow at times because people don’t know we’re here,” said Wood. “The building’s set back off the road and we didn’t really advertise a whole lot. Still, support has been growing. A lady came down from the town of Elkin and she put us on a ‘What’s up in Elkin’ website and people are starting to realize we’re here.”
The name for the restaurant was inspired by the trip that Wood and Roberts take every day from Wilkesboro, traveling across the creek on N.C. 268.
All lot of repairs had to be made to the building to bring it up to code. Opening a restaurant with three toddlers also has been a struggle. The building was painted and redecorated with a down-to-earth country spin.
“The kids stay in daycare while we’re here. That’s been an adjustment all in itself,” said Wood. “It’s tough being away from family. It’s a busy job. Another one of the downfalls for us is that we don’t know many people here. We’re making some good friends, making memories, and hanging out with our buddies. We do have regulars already. We like seeing new faces, too.”
“We enjoy the restaurant business because we like sharing our food with everyone and we’re good at it. It’s our thing,” said Roberts. “We’re chunky monkeys, too. We love to eat. That’s our drug.”
Wood and Roberts already are planning some events in the coming months to celebrate the opening of the smokery and the holiday seasons.
“I want to have an old car night out here in the parking lot, hopefully in October,” said Wood. “It would be a grand opening with some bluegrass music. We’re also excited about Christmas time and Thanksgiving. We plan on doing smoked turkeys to sell as a meal deal.”
Krissi’s husband Michael Wood also helps out with the cooking and his contributions have been a major help for Krissi Wood and the business.
The smokery is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
“We’ve discussed expanding hours, but our children come first and we’re already away from them enough as it is,” said Wood. “I can’t see expanding them in the future. We tried being open on Sundays with the hot bar for a few days, but we decided to close because we were missing church and our babies were missing church. We can’t put anything before church. We’re here to make money, but we’re not going to put money before our faith.”
Despite the challenges that Wood and Roberts have faced in opening the restaurant, they believe that their faith has played a driving role in their success.
“We’re are a Christian and family-based restaurant,” said Wood. “We don’t serve alcohol although a lot of people asked. We can do big groups, reserved seats, and we can host parties on days that we are closed. We do everything for the glory of God.”
Troy Brooks may be reached at 336-258-4058.