SEARCY, Ark. – When we think about the things that are most important to us, we often conjure up family, faith, friends… and smoked meat. Or at least that’s what Thurman McCroskey, owner of ‘This Guy’s Smoke and Grill,’ thinks of.

When you walk through the door of Searcy’s newest eatery, you’ll find earns you both good food and good company. It doesn’t take long to come to the realization that ‘This Guy’s’ is a faith-based restaurant as plastered across the bright red walls you’ll find encouraging sayings and Bible verses.

“We’re people of faith and I want people to know it,” said Thurman. “We’re not open on Sundays so our staff has open schedules to go to church if they want to.”

The staff talks and acts like a family; it is apparent that everyone feels welcome there. The restaurant’s family extends outside the walls of its Southeast Searcy location too. McCroskey is a family man, pointing every success he has had in the food business back to God, his wife, and the Valley Baptist Church where he worships.

“I just want to say how thankful I am for my wife for always being so supportive,” said Thurman. “She made my dream a reality by supporting me to do it. And my church family at Valley Baptist Church for supporting me.”

Everything from the location of the restaurant, to the menu items, to the logo his son designed, are centered around McCroskey’s love for family and his community.

That love for community is coupled with a lifelong love for good cooking and smoking meats.

Photo by: Caroline Meiners

“I’ve always loved to cook. I remember cooking with the deep fryer in Kindergarten, making homemade french fries and elbow macaroni with butter sauce on it,” said Thurman. “From there I would just play around, ya know, make crumbled hamburger dish or something.”

Locals will recognize McCroskey as the former food genius behind Whistle Stop BBQ. While ‘This Guy’s’ menu does feature a few signature items from its predecessor’s menu –like the Whistle Stop Tacos — the new restaurant has a flavor all its own. If you’re a meat enthusiast, the Smoke Stack Burger is absolutely the way to go. It features four different kinds of meat—burger patty, pulled pork, sausage links, and bacon. As if that weren’t enough, the Smoke Stack is slathered in a This Guy’s signature BBQ sauce and comes with crunchy, salty french fries.

“You can’t beat a good greasy burger,” said Thurman.

If red meat isn’t your thing, try the catfish! It comes recommended by the owner himself and is guaranteed to remind you why good Southern-fried cookin’ is always the way to go.

Photo by: Caroline Meiners

Outside of burgers and catfish, ‘This Guy’s’ offers ribs, grilled chicken, and a variety of house specialty sandwiches. The menu features classic starters like wings and nachos but does not shy away from more eclectic dishes like fried green beans and green tomatoes.

Don’t forget to satisfy your sweet tooth! The menu includes a wide range of Yarnell’s’ ice cream flavors and milkshakes for those who want a creamy fix. The real gems, though, are the homemade fried pies. With choices like apple, peach, chocolate, coconut, strawberry—you can’t go wrong! Just like every other menu item, the fried pies are handcrafted with the customer in mind, and it shows.

In a town where community is a top priority, ‘This Guy’s’ fits right in. Good eats and a healthy dose of Southern hospitality set it apart. For more updates and information, visit their Facebook page.