Salem welcomes a much-anticipated barbecue restaurant to its ranks this evening. Smokin’ Betty’s BBQ + Bar will bring more than just smoked meats to the neighborhood, too: It has a hybrid shuffleboard-bowling table inside, plus customized murals from local artists.
Smokin’ Betty’s is the work of two restaurateurs who are vastly familiar with the Salem dining world. Steve Feldmann and Marie Feldmannova also operate Gulu-Gulu Cafe and Flying Saucer Pizza Company in Salem, and this new venture takes them in a slightly different direction, with an emphasis on Southern-style barbecue. The restaurant is named for Feldmann’s mother, Elizabeth "Betty" Feldmann, who passed away in 2012. The pair has teamed up with chef Todd Bekesha, who brings to the project years of experience cooking in New Orleans, as previously reported.
The menu at Smokin’ Betty’s includes gruyere beignets, fried green tomato po’boys, smoked Nashville hot chicken sandwiches, and a chopped pork sandwich. There are “fun for the whole family” packages, which include multiple kinds of meats (like ribs, brisket, chicken, and pork), plus a choice of two “fixins” (collard greens, mac and cheese, corn, slaw), and cornbread. There are also six different kinds of barbecue sauces, a rotating selection of pies, and bananas foster bread pudding. Smokin’ Betty’s also stocks a selection of craft beer and wine and offers specialty house cocktails.
The restaurant is located in a building known as the “Klondike Club,” which was a club for Salem's French-Canadian residents. After renovations, the space now features a 20-seat bar, communal seating at picnic and high-top tables, and a lounge. The building used to have a bowling alley in the basement, and Smokin’ Betty’s pays homage to that in more ways than one: The restaurant’s bar top was made from 100-year-old bowling alley lanes, and the owners acquired a shuffleboard bowling arcade game from the 1950s that is on hand for diners to enjoy.
Smokin’ Betty’s is located at 94 Lafayette St. in Salem and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. to start, with extended hours on the way soon.
• You Can Shuffle Bowl at Smokin’ Betty’s BBQ + Bar Very Soon [EBOS]
• Smokin’ Betty’s BBQ [Official Site]