CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — The smell of oakwood barbecue drifted in the air in Charleston, West Virginia’s Westside neighborhood Saturday.
People lined up since before 11 a.m. to get a free pulled pork sandwich outside of Dem 2 Brothers & A Grill.
The event was sponsored by Kingsford charcoal, a West Virginia company, who gave a one-day $500,000 spending tab to several barbecue restaurants across the nation.
“This is something for us to give back from receiving,” said Ashley Wright, the general manager of the locally owned and Food Network famous barbecue restaurant.
Wright moved back to Charleston from Tampa to help her father, a native of Charleston’s Westside neighborhood to run the family business.
She says the money from Kingsford is helping them stay afloat during the pandemic.
“They gave us $10,000 to just help us out knowing that our dining room was closed, our restaurant you know was down in business,” she said.
Other restaurants on the Westside haven’t been so lucky, but they say they’re managing thanks to their longtime customers in the community.
The owner of The Smokehouse, another barbecue place, says ever since reopening on May 21st their sales have been 75% of what they were compared to last year.
Mr. Smithers adds all of his employees came back except for one.
Wright says she and other business owners want people to feel as comfortable as possible while dining in the Westside.
“Sometimes the Westside is pictured in a poor light; we like for people to come out and know that you know, you are safe,” she said.