Champion pit master opens Smokecraft BBQ joint in Arlington

Smokecraft Modern Barbecue opens July 31 in Arlington’s Clarendon neighborhood, at 1051 N. Highland St. (Courtesy Smokecraft Modern Barbecue)

An award-winning BBQ competition pitmaster is finally getting his first brick-and-mortar Virginia restaurant opened after pandemic-related delays and redesigns.

Smokecraft Modern Barbecue opens July 31 in Arlington’s Clarendon neighborhood, at 1051 N. Highland St., in space formerly occupied by Citizen Burger Bar.

Smokecraft was originally scheduled to open this spring. Owner and pitmaster Andrew Darneille held off to adapt the restaurant to COVID-19 times with an altered seating layout for social distancing, necessary health and safety precautions and a takeout program with to-go drinks.

Darneille and his Bethesda, Maryland -based team at Smokecraft Championship BBQ have won more than 70 awards, including Reserve Grand Champions at the York County BBQ Festival in Delta, Pennsylvania last month.

“We are excited to finally be able to share our award-winning barbecue with the local community,” said Darneille.

“While these are challenging times to open a restaurant, we will continue to evolve our brand, while never wavering in our commitment to use the highest quality products to produce an amazing barbecue dining experience.”

Smokecraft’s restaurant includes two Southern Pine commercial smokers that can smoke more than 2,000 pounds of meat at a time and use an assortment of woods.

In addition to traditional barbecue fare, the “modern” in Smokecraft Modern Barbecue includes things such as grilled peach and prosciutto crostini, smoked spaghetti squash, a smoked Monte Cristo, slow-smoked pastrami hash and smoked avocado deviled eggs.

Smokecraft Modern Barbecue will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, until 11 p.m. Fridays and starting at 10 a.m. weekends with the addition of brunch.

A sample menu is online.

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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