Award-winning pit masters opening Smokecraft Modern BBQ in Clarendon

Smokecraft Modern Barbecue’s owner and operating partner Andrew Darneille and pit master Marc “Red” Leone are seen. (Courtesy Smokecraft Modern Barbecue)

Smokecraft Modern Barbecue, a team of local aficionados who racked up a long list of BBQ championship awards, is opening its first stand-alone restaurant in Clarendon, Virginia.

The new restaurant will open next spring at 1051 N. Highland St., in a space formerly occupied by Citizen Burger Bar on the ground floor of the 10-story office building.

“It’s long been a dream to open our own restaurant, and we are excited to bring our award-winning barbecue to the Arlington community,” said owner and operating partner Andrew Darneille.

“Our goal is to continue to push the boundaries of what barbecue is and can be.”

Smokecraft is installing two Southern Price commercial smokers that will allow the team to smoke more than 2,000 pounds of meat at a time, using assorted woods for various smoked flavors.

In addition to more traditional barbecue fare, pit master Marc “Red” Leone’s menu will include dishes such as smoked spaghetti squash, and a brunch menu including a smoked Monte Cristo, slow-smoked pastrami hash and pulled chicken and waffles.

The 3,500-square-foot restaurant will seat 95 inside and 20 on the outdoor patio, and include a 30-foot bar to showcase its beverage program.

The Smokecraft team, which this summer won the Turkey Smoke Grand Championship at the National Capital Barbecue Battle, plans to continue competing throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, fine-tuning its recipes ahead of the restaurant’s opening.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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