Hometown Eats: County Smoak in Lynchburg

Published: Oct. 9, 2020 at 5:55 AM EDT
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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - Despite only being open a few months, there is a lot of buzz about County Smoak in Lynchburg. Located right along Timberlake Road, County Smoak is offering up delicious smoked meats and sides.

Behind the operation is Ken and Jess Hess, a husband-wife duo who met at the Greenbrier Resort. Both are classically trained chefs with a big passion for barbecue.

“We’re the only place in Lynchburg doing all wood and charcoal, no propane assist," said Ken Hess. "It’s the harder way to do things, but it’s also the way we feel it should be done.”

They are serving up juicy meats that are packed with flavor. Their smoked chicken is a huge hit for good reason. They’re finishing it off by basting it in their homemade Alabama white sauce.

“If you want to talk about juicy and flavor-packed, this is your place right here," said WDBJ7′s Josh Birch. "This Alabama white sauce is incredible. You get a little tang from the vinegar. It’s super unique.”

They’ve also got brisket, ribs, pork and even smoked turkeys. But it’s not just meat they’re smoking at County Smoak - they also throw the baked beans and mac and cheese in the smoker.

County Smoak is the perfect combination of great food and great people. The Hesses opened up in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and a meat shortage. Despite that, they still wanted to give back to those in need. They started something called Thankful Thursdays, that has now extended to every day.

“You know if you’re short on money, you need a meal, your family needs a meal, just come and we’ll feed you,” said Jess Hess. “You don’t need to give us an explanation. Just give us your name, how many people you need to feed, and we’ll pack it up for you no charge.”

County Smoak is located at 7423 Timberlake Rd, Lynchburg, VA 24502. Their phone number is (434) 215-3311.

If you have a local restaurant that Josh needs to visit, send him an email at or connect with him on Facebook at Josh Birch WDBJ7.

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