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Cabin Creek Grill bringing top area, national entertainers to UKV

By Clint Thomas, Metro Reporter
CLINT THOMAS | Metro
Cabin Creek Grill co-owner Rick Howell stands with the “throwback” mechanical bull patrons can ride, if they dare.
The Cabin Creek Grill stage hosts live entertainment ranging from local performers to national acts such as “The Voice” winner Cody Wickline, coming in August, and Molly Hatchet, expected to play in September.
As a sign outside clearly states, the Cabin Creek Grill promises bull-ridin’, pig-eatin’, boot-stompin’ good times for all.
Fencing and an outdoor patio area have been added to the Cabin Creek Grill recently for summertime outdoor enjoyment.
Cabin Creek Grill co-owners and husband and wife Rick and Missy Howell sit in the restaurant portion of their establishment, behind two of their signature specialties: a one-pound barbecue sandwich and a West Virginia hot dog.
A mural commemorating Cabin Creek adorns a wall at Cabin Creek Grill.

On the stage and on the plate, all is great with the growing patron base of the Cabin Creek Grill, located at 389 Cabin Creek Road.

The restaurant side of the Cabin Creek Grill is renowned for the made-on-site barbecue. Rick Howell, who owns Cabin Creek Grill with his wife, Missy, prepares the meat daily on the outdoor smoker (the third he’s owned since he started barbecuing as a hobby some 27 years ago). Over that time, the Howells refined their barbecue technique and flavor to a point where patrons from Barbecue Country in North Carolina have remarked that theirs surpasses the barbecue sold in the South.

“We smoke our own barbecue. We wrap it in aluminum foil and put in herbs and homemade barbecue sauce and cook it bones down for 12 hours at 300 degrees. A lot of people come from far off to try our barbecue,” Rick said.

“We smoke hog here every day. You can get a fresh hog sandwich,” he said. “There’s no frozen hamburger -- it’s all ground every two days. We cut all of our own fresh-cut French fries. It’s as fresh as you can get.”

The adventurous diner can also dig into the Coal Miner, a large, pulled pork sandwich accompanied by slaw, baked beans and potato salad.

Also a customer favorite are the Cabin Creek Grill West Virginia-style, all-beef hot dogs, topped with homemade chili, slaw, onions and other ingredients you desire.

Other Cabin Creek Grill menu items include cheeseburgers, soups, chili, corn dogs, mild and hot barbecue wings, pizza, hoagies, salads and chicken, in strips, sandwiches or nuggets. Desserts are also available.

Along with regular and large pulled pork barbecues, the sandwich selection include grilled ham and cheese, grilled cheese, BLT on toast, hot bologna and club sandwiches.

Side dishes include breaded mushrooms, jalapeno poppers, onion rings, fried pickles, cheese sticks, cheese fries and French fries.

Cabin Creek Grill also offers curbside service for those on the go. “A lot of older people and people who don’t want to get out of their cars like that,” Rick said.

The patio out back has also been appointed recently with fencing and picnic tables for those who want to enjoy a hearty Cabin Creek Grill meal al fresco.

Adjoining the restaurant side of the grill is the expansive entertainment area. Attractions such as pool tables, video games and dartboards are there, as is a mechanical bull for thrill-seeking riders to hop on. The area, which seats 500, is also popular for the stellar entertainment line-up, from nearby to national acts. Daryle Singletary and his band, along with Campbells Creek native Josh Pantry, performed at the Cabin Creek Grill this past weekend. Upcoming acts include Beckley native and “The Voice” winner Cody Wickline. Rick said plans are being finalized to bring Molly Hatchet to the Cabin Creek Grill stage, tentatively in September.

A Ladies Night on Wednesdays debuts today at Cabin Creek Grill, as well.

Rick said he has owned the property where Cabin Creek Grill stands, not far from the turn to Cabin Creek from W.Va. 61, since the early 1990s. Having been in the restaurant business for 25 years, he said, he opened Cabin Creek Grill two years ago. Its allure (and patronage) has expanded from beyond Cabin Creek to throughout Kanawha, Roane and Clay counties and outward.

“There’s nothing up here; we’re just trying to bring some live entertainment and something to do up here to the area,” Rick said. “People are coming out. They’re learning about us -- and they like the food.”

Cabin Creek Grill is a family-operated venture, with help from three generations of the family. “We all just pitch in,” said Rick.

Cabin Creek Grill is open from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. on weekends. On Fridays and Saturdays, the kitchen is open until 2 a.m., he added.

For more information, call 681-221-8111.


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