Owners of Hail Mary's and Salty Mary's Open Smokin’ Mary’s BBQ Pit and Saloon in N. Ridgeville

The Tex Mex-style barbecue joint dishes up a great mix of Texas roadhouse hits

click to enlarge Brisket tacos at Smokin' Mary's - Smokin' Mary's
Smokin' Mary's
Brisket tacos at Smokin' Mary's

“I’m not going to lie – I’m never going to do two restaurants back-to-back like that again,” confesses Wil Novak.

Novak and his wife and business partner Julie did not plan to open two restaurants within three months’ time, but delays with one restaurant forced the owners to do just that. In August, the Novaks opened Salty Mary's Oyster Bar (look for tomorrow's review) in Westlake. A couple months later they opened Smokin’ Mary’s BBQ Pit and Saloon a little farther down Center Ridge in North Ridgeville.

“We really like BBQ and N. Ridgeville doesn’t have much to choose from in that area,” Wil says. “We thought that clientele would like it.”

Novak describes Smokin’ Mary’s as a “Tex Mex-style” barbecue joint starring house-smoked brisket, pork shoulder and pork belly. The menu offers a great mix of Texas roadhouse hits like pimento dip and chips, fried pickle spears, steak chili, chicken-fried beef ribs and burnt ends. That smoked brisket, pork shoulder and pork belly lands atop nachos, inside tortillas, on buns as meaty sandwiches and by the pound with a choice of sauces like House Texas, Alabama White, Carolina, Bada Bing Cherry and Fire-Roasted Peach. On the side, there’s cowboy baked beans, Mexican street corn, mac and cheese and cornbread. For dessert, there’s Texas sheet cake and banana pudding.

Wil and Julie Novak each have worked in the hospitality industry for roughly 30 years. Wil worked alongside mega-restaurateur Cameron Mitchell in the early days, opening one concept after another. Five years ago, the couple decided to strike out on their own with Hail Mary’s, a popular tavern in Westlake.

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About The Author

Douglas Trattner

For 20 years, Douglas Trattner has worked as a full-time freelance writer, editor and author. His work on Michael Symon's "Carnivore," "5 in 5" and “Fix it With Food” have earned him three New York Times Best-Selling Author honors, while his longstanding role as Scene dining editor garnered the award of “Best...
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