Where there is smoke, there is Wahoo BBQ

Updated: Feb 21


Owner of Wahoo BBQ, Howie Brown, describes his restaurant as a “BBQ joint with a country store front.” The set menu is simple with brisket, pulled pork, chicken and ribs. He throws in wrinkles with salmon, wings, expresso coffee and more.


The community support for Wahoo BBQ has been impressive. Wahoo BBQ opened on October 11. They sold out of meat by 2 pm. The second day Brown doubled how much meat he prepared and still didn’t make it to dinner. Same story the third day. By the fourth day, Wahoo BBQ was completely out of meat and rested. It took about a week for Wahoo BBQ to serve the full menu through dinner.


“I knew we would be busy but I didn’t expect what had happened,” said Brown. “I didn’t expect the outpour from the community.”


Brown got his start with just a Kamado style grill. After a few catering events, he built a smoker. After two years of catering, he was ready to move into a brick and mortar restaurant.

Over the years he dreamed of re-opening Cunningham Market as his own BBQ restaurant. Cunningham Market, in some form, had been around for decades as a country store with food. Brown grew up getting tasty food in that storefront.


“I had my eyes on this place for quite a while,” said Brown. The Economic Development Office assisted Brown in locating in the Cunningham Market.


Brown went through regulatory approvals including the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors. The project, titled Wahoo, was the first project for the Economic Development Office in 2019.


Learn more about Brown's journey from side-hustle caterer to caterer to full-time restaurant owner in the latest #FromFluvanna podcast.

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