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Smokey Ridge Grill Opens Inside Greenbrier Pharmacy

By Lee Rennick,


The Smokey Ridge Grill recently opened a second location within the Greenbrier Pharmacy, which offers seating. Just as they do at the Oak Hill Country Club, they offer their well-loved barbecue and sides, but they are also offering milk shakes, ice cream cones, scoops, of ice cream and ice cream Sundays.

Burtis Ridge is the powerhouse behind Smokey Ridge Grill and Catering. Getting into the restaurant business is Ridge’s second act after the pandemic brought about the closing of his former retail store, Picker’s Paradise Antiques and More.

“I sold all of the stock from the store right after the two week close down and used it to buy a smoker. I started selling barbecue at the Greenbrier Flea Market on Highway 41 near Springfield. That went so well, that I got me a truck. I was in it for six months. I set up at Alden’s Nursery, across from the elementary school. Then, I was approached by the golf course to do food for a couple of tournaments. I found out the kitchen at the club was empty and we moved up there.”

Since there is no seating at the grill at the golf club, his food truck regulars come by and pick items up to eat at one of the picnic tables or they take it home to eat. Ridge has wanted to have some place with seating.

“You know how God works in mysterious ways,” asked Ridge. “Well, I had a really bad truck accident on March 10…I asked for my prescription to be sent to my local pharmacy, Greenbrier Pharmacy. When I was in there, Todd [Williamson, one of the owners,] asked if I wanted to open up in the pharmacy. Within 18 hours after we talked, I went for it. If I hadn’t been in that accident, I never would have gone to the pharmacy, and I wouldn’t be where I am now.”

The first week in the pharmacy location was the best one that Ridge has had, and the second week is looking really good, too.

Menus at the two locations differ. The pharmacy location focuses on sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs and traditional sides, plus the soda fountain.

Of course, the featured items are what Ridge is best known for — his barbecue. It is a recipe that he created himself. Food has long been a passion of his, right behind antiques. His philosophy is that good barbecue is all about letting the heat and the smoke do its work, and doing it the old-fashioned way in an outside smoker where you have to keep a close watch on the cooker and put in wood.

He also makes his own coleslaw, which is also raved about. Other favorites are his smoked bologna, barbecue baked potatoes, brisket, and ribs. He offers the baked potatoes as a special at the pharmacy and ribs every other weekend at the golf course.

“I do like feeding people,” said Ridge. “You get your money’s worth. I don’t want to be one of those places where you pay a hundred dollars for a dinner and then have to go home and make a grilled cheese and ramen noodle afterward to feel full…To me, it’s all about repeat customers.”

He also enjoys cutting up with his customers. Ridge’s humor and love of telling a tale or two or three is part of the ambiance. He loves to talk.

“I would not be able to do any of this without the support of my fiancé, Shawn Callis,” said Ridge. “I’m like a bull in a china shop when I get going on something. She always has my back.”

Smokey Ridge Grill and Catering is located at 2239 Highway US-41, Suite A, Greenbrier, Tennessee. They are open Monday through Thursday from 10:30 a.m. until 7:00 p.m., then starting Friday, June 9, they will be doing Catfish Friday Nights. The hours that day will be from 10:30 a.m. until 8:00 p.m., or until the last person leaves.

Follow Smokey Ridge Grill & Catering on Facebook

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