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Look Inside Smoking Kow BBQ’s New Alexandria Restaurant

The D.C. food truck’s first brick-and-mortar shop debuts April 14

Smoking Kow founder Dylan Kough has transformed the former Cate Monti spot into a rustic barbecue restaurant.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Local food truck Smoking Kow BBQ’s new brick-and-mortar restaurant is poised to welcome smoked meat lovers this weekend.

First-time restaurateur Dylan Kough tells Eater that he and his general manager, Paul Tecchio, handled much of the remodeling work themselves. The duo remade neighborhood Italian eatery Cafe Monti (3250 Duke Street, Alexandria, Va.) into a 20-seat barbecue restaurant featuring communal picnic tables, stained wood, brushed metal, and one gleaming white animal skull.

“It looks cool,” Kough says of the bony decoration hanging above the main dining room.

One original piece of art featured at the restaurant is a black and white sketch of the D.C. area displayed on a chalkboard. Kough says he asked local artist Riley Sheehey to illustrate the areas serviced by his two roving Smoking Kow vehicles (black truck; white truck) while also highlighting the location of the new flagship restaurant.

The remainder of the space is filled with the bare necessities required to operate a barbecue establishment: neatly stacked hickory logs to be fed into the wood-fired smoker; a self-service station stocked with assorted barbecue sauces and plenty of paper towels; light and dark colored picnic tables that Kough says he refinished by blowtorching and staining them to his liking; and the obligatory figurines showing where the smoked brisket, shredded pork, pulled chicken, and sausage served at the restaurant comes from on each respective animal.

The new Smoking Kow BBQ, which is right around the corner from local barbecue chain Rocklands, is currently scheduled to open at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 14.

Scroll down to peek inside the new space:

Kough says he burns hickory logs in the smoker that seasons his brisket, pork, chicken, and sausage.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

The map posted above Smoking Kow’s self-service counter shows where the new restaurant is located in relation to D.C., and the routes the corresponding food trucks follow.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Customers can help themselves to varying sauces at Smoking Kow’s self-service station.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

The cow skull hanging above Smoking Kow’s main dining room.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Kough created the alternating light and dark effect on the picnic tables by charring and staining the wood.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Figurines identifying the different cuts of meat available from cows, pigs, and chickens reside on a ledge by the front window of the restaurant. DC
Rey Lopez/Eater

Kough says the new restaurant can currently accommodate 20 customers at a time. He’s working on expanding that.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Stacks of hickory logs frame the entrance to the new Smoking Kow BBQ.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Smoking Kow BBQ - Alexandria

3250 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 Visit Website

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