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Greg Lowery stands beside the counter at Lowery’s Barbecue, which has already become a staple of the community after only 2.5 years in business. Lowery was sure to preserve the shop’s most famous resident, the legendary jackalope (pictured top left) that has resided in the store for close to 30 years.
Photo by Matthew Hundley

Originally published: 2013-01-02 10:30:21
Last modified: 2013-01-02 10:31:35

Business Spotlight: Lowery's Barbecue

Matthew Hundley / (

For motorists arriving at the intersection of highways 181 and 221 in Pineola, Lowery's Barbecue may look like a convenience store, but locals know that, once inside, Lowery's Barbecue offers far more than the typical roadside pit stop.
“It is the hangout for me,” said Micah Loven, who makes it down to Lowery's almost every day. “It is good food, good everything down here, and pretty cheap.”
In the last 2.5 years, Greg Lowery has worked to make Lowery's Barbecue the destination for locals and visitors alike on their way through Pineola. In addition to the expected gas and convenience services, Lowery's Barbecue also offers breakfast, lunch and dinner each day, as well as hand-dipped ice cream, milkshakes and extensive catering services. On top of that, local folk artists have found a home for their crafts in Lowery's shop.
Located at the intersection of Highway 181 and Highway 221 in Pineola, Lowery's is open from 6:30 a.m. o 6:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and opens from around 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Sundays. To talk to Lowery about what he can provide for your next gathering, call Lowery's Barbecue at (828) 733-0909.
Lowery said that he made the move to Avery County because of the benefits of opening a business in Avery County over his native Morganton.
“It is a great place to have a business, less competition and better opportunity,” Lowery said.
The wide selection of food is one of the several ways in which Lowery's Barbecue sets itself far apart from a typical convenience store.
“It is really more of a restaurant than a gas station,” Lowery said. “We have breakfast, lunch, supper and a full line of catering services. For catering, we can do anything; from as simple as a barbecue plate up to turkeys, spiral sliced ham, steaks and a fish fry. We cover it all, including any types of sides you might want. We even cater breakfast quite often.
“We have things as simple as a sausage biscuit all the way up to a full breakfast plate,” he said.
“Lunch is the same way; we do both sandwiches and plates. We have a fish fry each Friday night, starting in the spring through the fall. You can get catfish, flounder or shrimp.”
Pineola serves as a crossroads for many of Avery County's more remote areas and for some of its major thoroughfares, which means that Lowery's Barbecue serves a wide spectrum of needs, from basic groceries, to a wide variety of food, to household supplies to, of course, gasoline. The best part of Lowery's Barbecue, however, may be coming inside to meet Greg Lowery and his friendly staff.
Lowery's location was familiar to many long-time residents under its previous name, Laurel Country Store, but Lowery has taken many steps to set his new business apart, both in the name and in the services he provides.  
“It is just getting to know people in the community, and a little bit of advertising to start with. I has taken a little bit of time to overcome that name,” Lowery said. “It has been a good experience. You know, people have received us with open arms. Not being from here originally, you never know how people are going to receive you.”
For those that remember Laurel Country Store's most famous resident, not to worry. The legendary mounted jackalope still watches over the shop after close to 30 years in residence.
According to Lowery, the shop is more than just a convenience for locals, it is important to the community as well, in large part, because it ensures that area residents have some groceries and other necessities close to home; a sentiment that will hit home for any residents who remember the brief period when the shop stood unused in between owners.
“I moved in five months after he closed,” Lowery said. “You don't have much to choose from out here as far as food, stores and gas. You have a couple of things around, but if you live further down 181, you have even less options.”
That consideration for his neighbors in Jonas Ridge, where he now lives, is indicative of the kind of thoughtfulness that keeps customers coming back, not only for the famous breakfast biscuits and dinner plates, but for the friendly, familiar faces as well.
“If folks haven't tried us, they need to come give us a shot,” Lowery said. “We are not strictly a convenience store. A lot of people see it that way, but when they come in and see what we've got, they change their minds.”
Lowery's Barbecue is located at the intersection of two of southern Avery County's main corridors, Linville Falls Highway and Jonas Ridge Highway, also known as Highway 221 and Highway 181. It is easy for any family to stop in and try a bite of barbecue, sandwiches or breakfast, but anyone looking to feed a larger group should call (828) 733-0909 to schedule catering services through Lowery's Barbecue.

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