FAMOUS BARBECUE & CATERING IN DALLAS
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About Smokey John's Bar-B-Que
& Home Cooking

MEET THE FAMILY

Meet our founder: “Smokey” John Reaves.

(We call him Dad.)Young, Smokey John's, sitting on a table, smiling.

He first opened our doors for business in 1976 in Dallas, Texas. Back then, we were known as Big John’s, located on the corner of Lemmon and Mockingbird. But one day, the pit inside the restaurant caught on fire. Although there was no damage, the restaurant was filled with a thick cloud of smoke. When one of our regulars came in and saw the smoke-filled room, he said, “Y’all should call this place Smokey John’s instead of Big John’s!” And just like that, Dad changed the restaurant’s name to Smokey John’s. Our hickory smoke became the signature of the neighborhood, enticing customers from around Texas to stop by and experience our delicious home cooking.

In addition to Dad, our foundation was laid by our mom, Gloria Reaves (“Mama Reaves”) and our cousin, Douglas Spraglin (“Rent”). Mama Reaves was a whiz when it came to engaging with our customers, bookkeeping, and décor, while Rent was the ultimate pitmaster, able to grab meat straight off the pit with his bare hands (#facts). Sadly, Mama Reaves passed away in June 2010, with Rent following in October 2011, and Dad joining them in August 2019. But their impact is felt in everything we do.

Gloria Reaves Douglas Spraglin

In the left photo, Mama Reaves (left) dances with Dad (right) at Brent and Charity’s wedding.
In the right photo, Rent takes a break from the hustle and bustle at the State Fair of Texas.

Smokey John’s has always been family-owned and -operated, and we’re intentional about extending that spirit of family to our customers. It’s what’s made us a favorite spot for friends, families, and co-workers to gather and take a break from their day. It’s why we’ve hosted bible studies, rehearsal dinners, baby showers, and even a wedding (yes, a wedding!) at our restaurant. And it’s why we work so hard every day—we’re building a legacy for our family and our community.

Smokey John's Bar-B-Que & Home Cooking - Team

We are family! Sons Juan and Brent Reaves (right and middle right, respectively) co-own and run the day-to-day operations, while daughter Yulise Reaves Waters (middle left), the attorney of the family, offers her expertise as a legal consultant for the company. In his later years, Dad (left) frequented the restaurant occasionally, but spent most of his time exploring new business opportunities and spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ locally and nationally.

MEET THE SMOKEY JOHN'S TEAM

NOURISHING OUR COMMUNITY THROUGH THE JOY OF FOOD, THE STRENGTH OF FAITH, AND THE SPIRIT OF FAMILY

  • This is my new go-to for BBQ!

    “Ribs are AMAZING and brisket is great.”

    Dena

  • We LOVED it!!

    “The food was so good!”

    Jacqueline

  • Best baked potatoes, ribs, beef, beans you ever tasted.

    “The best Poor boy sandwich you ever had with your choice of two meats.”

    Clarie

  • I called last minute for a catering event and they were more than accommodating.

    “Smokey John's is first class in every respect!”

    Kyle

  • Nice, clean, beautiful new restaurant, friendly service, good prices and great food. That's what we're all looking for.

    “Nice, clean, beautiful new restaurant, friendly service, good prices and great food. That's what we're all looking for.”

    Harvey

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