published Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Small Biz: Dayton's Rib Shak BBQ adds convenience for smokehouse specialties

  • photo
    Mike Adams, left, owner of Rib Shak BBQ, packs up first-time customer Mark Pitts' rib feast order, which featured the specialty rib rack and 2 pound loaded baked potato. The new restaurant opened its doors Nov. 16.
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Rib Shak BBQ
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• Name: Rib Shak BBQ

• Location: 3333 Rhea County Highway in Dayton, Tenn., near the Wal-Mart and within three miles north of Graysville city limits

• Products/Services: Hickory-smoked Ribs, beef, pork and chicken, which procure for about 18 to 24 hours in the smoker. Side dishes include two- pound baked potatoes, tater tots, slaw, fried apples and baked beans; desserts include strawberry and blackberry cobblers and banana pudding.

• Owner: Mike Adams, 48, and co-owner Dean Evans

• Inspiration behind the name: Adams said that their Dayton Mountain location off Highway 30 West, known as Mtn. Rib Shak BBQ & Market, had inspired them to maintain a portion of its original name, and recently celebrated its one-year anniversary.

• Startup investment/Anticipated annual sales: Adams said he was "very happy" about the original restaurant's location and success, but that the "best kept mountain secret" needed to expand elsewhere for broader appeal.

• Price range of services: $2.99, for a junior pork sandwich, up to $19.99 for foot-long rib racks.

• Target market: College students and older folks, he said, have a tendency to enjoy the smokehouse flavor of their house specialties.

• Challenges: Adams said that while other restaurants boasted about their offerings, he offered each customer a free sample to taste and decide themselves.

• Lesson learned: "If it's good, they'll come," he said.

• Five-year goal: Adams said that if the new location's success rivaled the original, then he and Evans plan to open additional locations outside Rhea County.

— Compiled by Kimberly McMillian is based in Rhea County. Contact her at

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