MARTINSVILLE, Ind. -- Last year, local developers at Artesian Group announced they were purchasing over 20 buildings to rehab and revitalize downtown Martinsville. Now, every couple of weeks there seems to be a ribbon cutting for a new business in the area.
One of those recent additions is Holy Smoke Hog Roast, located at 43 S. Main Street in the heart of downtown Martinsville. Owners Mary and Roger Lawrence and their son, Eli --who is also their head pit master-- have quickly made Holy Smoke a must visit destination for true barbecue lovers.
“As the sign says ‘You come in as strangers and leave as family’ and they do,” said Mary Lawrence.
Holy Smoke Hog Roast is a family affair that started as a catering business nearly 12 years ago. But in March of this year, the restaurant opened and business has been booming thanks to their delicious barbecue.
So what are the house favorites?
“Pulled pork, definitely. Ribs would be a very close second and then brisket would come third... fourth would probably be our smoked chicken,” Lawrence said.
Pair those with one of their 6 sauces: sweet and tangy, southern, bourbon, chipotle, Louisiana hot and golden mustard.
Then, add some sides.
House favorites include the cheesy potatoes with bacon, mac and cheese, slaw, and green beans.
“I had a 9 year old little girl tell me once that my green beans were better than her grandmas and her grandmas green beans are the only ones she would eat,” Lawrence explained. “So we won’t tell grandma!”
But one friendly bit of advice: Make sure you pack your appetite… and maybe even some stretchy pants.
“We don’t want anybody to walk out that door hungry,” said Lawrence. “The portions are very large to make sure that everyone is very happy and very full. And if they take a to-go box, then we’ve done our job.”
They also have a dog friendly patio. So if you bring your pup, just ask for the “Reno Special.”
“They get a pup cup which is ice cream and a hot dog,” she said. “We’ve had people tell us ‘I take my dog out for a walk and they stop at your gate and won’t go any further!”
Lawrence says at the core of Holy Smoke Hog Roast is a servant’s heart.
“We tell our employees that we treat them like family once they’re our employees,” Lawrence said.
“For example yesterday one of our workers is really struggling so we went out and purchased several outfits for him because all he had to wear was two outfits,” she explained. “If they come to us and they have a need, we really try. And we’re that way with the community as well.”
Holy Smoke Hog Roast isn’t just part of the effort to revitalize Martinsville when it comes to the local restaurant scene. In many ways, they are also working hard to revitalize the hearts of those who live and visit their small town through giving back whenever they can.
“Every Tuesday we do a dining to donate. And the first Tuesday of every month is dining to donate to the animal shelter. As you can see our wall with all the dogs and cats on it that are available at the animal shelter,” said Lawrence.
Four Things You Need to Know About Holy Smoke Hog Roast
- Holy Smoke Hog Roast is a family owned business that began as a catering business nearly 12 years ago. Their restaurant opened in March of 2018. Now, business is booming at for both the restaurant and the catering side of the business. In fact, every weekend in September and October is already booked for catering this year.
- Brave folks can opt to take their infamous “Challenge” which consists of one person finishing “The Carnivore” within one hour. It consists of one pound of tater tot nachos, one pound of deluxe mac and cheese, one pound of pulled pork, one whole smoked chicken, a full rack of ribs and 4 wings. If challengers are successful, their food is free and their photo goes on the Wall of Fame. If not, their photo goes up on the Wall of Shame. So far, no one has beaten the challenge.
- They have a dog friendly patio where your pup can even enjoy a “Reno Special” from the dog-section of the menu. It consists of a pup cup of ice cream and a hot dog. On Saturday nights, you can also enjoy live music on the patio.
- They offer a 30% off discount for active duty military members as well as a 10% off senior citizens discount each day.
They are also active with various local charities like Manna Mission. But there is one very special group of people that they make it their mission to honor each day within the restaurant
‘If you’re active duty military or a first responder, we ask that you let us take your picture and we put it up on our heroes wall because those people to us are heroes,” said Lawrence.
“What the military people go through, what our first responders deal with day to day. We want to make sure they feel honored because we think they’re wonderful,” she added.
They also offer a 30% discount for active duty military members and first responders.
“We do that for all of them. Any day, any time. We want to make sure our first responders are honored the way they should be. Because I think this day and age they are not honored enough,” she said.
For more info on Holy Smoke Hog Roast, check out their official website by clicking here. To see more photos and reviews by local Yelpers, check out their Yelp profile. You can also connect with them on social media via Facebook.
While in Martinsville, check out these other popular local businesses: