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  • Writer's pictureSteven Keith

Fayetteville-area adventure resort hosts special culinary events

If you’re looking to pair good entertainment and food with a healthy side of fun, Smokey’s at Adventures on the Gorge in Lansing has just announced a spring series of culinary events that should make a splash on all three counts.

Fried fish sandwich with spicy remoulade from Smokey's on the Gorge
Fried fish sandwich with spicy remoulade from Smokey's on the Gorge

This past Saturday’s speakeasy-themed murder mystery dinner kicked off the series with an evening of suspense alongside passed apps of crab Rangoon with sweet chili sauce, smoked cheese, pickled vegetables and hummus, followed by a buffet loaded with wagyu meatloaf, chicken with Parmesan and tomato-butter sauce, roasted root vegetables, garlic-butter whipped mashed potatoes and a winter salad.

Ribs and craft beer from Smokey's
Ribs and craft beer from Smokey's

Coming up next on March 23 is a bourbon and BBQ feast, where each course of the evening’s menu will be paired with a sample of bourbon from West Virginia’s own Smooth Ambler Spirits in Maxwelton.

All tables will be served a basket of house-fried pork rinds with pineapple BBQ seasoning upon arrival, followed by fried cornbread with lime-cilantro crema cotija cheese, paired with Smooth Ambler Contradiction Bourbon

Then comes a BBQ platter with brisket, smoked chicken, smoked sausage and smoked turkey with Alabama white and brown sugar BBQ sauces served with sides of smoked macaroni and cheese, country green beans and creamy broccoli slaw. It will accompany a taste of Smooth Ambler Old Scout Bourbon.

Cauliflower steak from Smokey's
Cauliflower steak from Smokey's

Capping off the evening will be Smokey’s signature bourbon banana bread pudding served with Smooth Ambler Old Scout Rye Port Cask Finish.

On March 30, “Swingin’ with Sinatra” will offer the suits, songs and swagger of Frank Sinatra impersonator Lee Deen crooning old favorites while guests enjoy cocktails and appetizers.

Wrapping up this spring’s special events are the return of the Fire and Ice Festival on April 27, a special Mother’s Day buffet on May 12 and a craft beer festival on June 15.

Also on tap this season, the outdoor adventure resort perched atop the New River Gorge will add pizza at Rendezvous, lunchtime service at the reopened Mill Creek coffee shop, plus revamped menus at Chetty’s, Smokey’s and the stunning outdoor pool.

For more information on any of these events, call 855-379-8738 or visit


Not so fast on that Dairy Bar scoop

Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, well, shame on me even more.

French toast and a mimosa from Smokey's
French toast and a mimosa from Smokey's

After teasing the news that South Charleston Dairy Bar planned to reopen this past weekend, it seems that’s not the case and who knows if and when it ever will at this point.

The popular spot announced a grand re-opening in 2022 that never transpired, but I heard from two previously reliable sources that its doors would finally reopen on March 1 of this year. I wasn’t able to reach the owners to confirm that, but once I saw other social posts breaking the same “news,” I thought for sure it was really happening this time around.

I heard from so many of you who were super-excited after the announcement, so my sincere apologies for getting your hopes up. If it’s any consolation, the restaurant did share my post announcing the reopening – which surely has to be some sign of a comeback, right?

Needless to say, after a couple of false starts you won’t hear me utter the words “South Charleston Dairy Bar” until I’m standing inside the reopened joint myself.

Bloody Mary flight from Smokey's
Bloody Mary flight from Smokey's

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Steven Keith is a food writer and restaurant critic known as “The Food Guy” who writes a weekly column for the Charleston Gazette-Mail and has appeared in several state, regional and national culinary publications. Follow him online at or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. He can be reached at 304-380-6096 or at

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