Prairie Smoke: New owners, same flavor

by Charles Gerian

Prairie Smoke BBQ, a restaurant that has become a Blackwell staple on the food scene since opening in 2015, is now under new ownership.

In early November, Prairie Smoke was officially taken over by Phillip and Kera Scott. The couple bought the business from Phillip’s parents.

“People know when they come to Prairie Smoke that they're getting a family environment and good home-cooked BBQ. They're getting a dining experience that isn't really offered anywhere else around Blackwell. We do all of our sauces and rubs in house, and our sides are all prepared fresh,” Phillip said. “There's definitely a reason the people of Blackwell voted Prairie Smoke as the best place to get ribs in Kay County from the Blackwell Journal-Tribune's Best of Kay County poll.”

Business has been especially “fired up” as of late, Phillip said as Kera came to join him from the kitchen.

Phillip said, “There's a lot of ideas we're planning right now. A lot of our future prospects include getting our license to sell beer, maybe delivering or catering. … These are all things we're looking at right now. Parking can be a big issue and we have a good amount of our customer base that might not be able to walk in and out of here so easily. We want to make the best accommodations we can for everyone.”

Prairie Smoke is currently located in the back of The Marketplace on Main Street. The Marketplace is a large mall filled with several boutiques and locally owned business. To Phillip, having his business there is more than just being friendly with his business neighbors.

“We're a family here,” he said. “We're not just people that have our own little worlds and stick to them, we interact and help each other whenever someone needs it. It's such a great, welcoming environment here.”

Phillip and Kera noted that making the transition to become the new owners was “seamless” and that they “have shown no signs of stopping.”

The restaurant offers plenty of dining options like nachos (brisket, pulled pork, turkey), sandwiches, basket dinners (ribs, hot sausage, Polish sausage, turkey, brisket), sides like cole-slaw, fries, potato salad, okra, green beans, kettle chips, rib specials, BBQ Philly sandwiches, a dinner salad, and renowned appetizers like fried mushrooms, Texas toothpicks, pickles, and Prairie Smoke's specialty: their pulled pork wraps. New menu items will be coming soon as well.

“There's nothing like us around here, and we are dedicated and committed to bringing the people of Blackwell good food. That won't change. My roots are here -- our roots are here -- and that's the way we're staying,” said Phillip, who was joined by his wife, Kera, and his children, Riker and Wiley.

Prairie Smoke's appeal isn't just local, either. Phillip pointed toward maps of the United States and the world on which pins mark the locations of customers from virtually everywhere.

“We had to get a world map,” Phillip said. “People would come from Europe or Spain, from all over really, and want to put their pins up there, and all of them were really impressed by the food, too!”