When it comes to getaways where the finest of foods, fun and recreation meet the best in Vintage old-fashioned simplicity and relaxation, Jim Oliver’s Smoke House is one of the most historic and celebrated hospitality resorts in the Southeast.
Since 1960, Jim Oliver has set the highest standard in country cooking and leisure living to suit everyone’s taste. Located on Old US 41A and Interstate 24 between Chattanooga and Nashville atop beautiful Monteagle Mountain, Jim Oliver’s Smoke House has a lot to offer; 85 over-sized beautiful lodge rooms and suites plus log and timber frame cabins for families and couples featuring large private Jacuzzi tubs, fireplaces and front porches.
The 25-acre campus has plenty of room to spread out, everything from relaxing barbecues, bonfires, fishing, swimming and walking trails to the simple pleasures of watching nature and wild life on the pond and playing horseshoes. Also available, are volleyball courts, tennis courts, basketball courts and shuffleboard courts as well as a children’s playground all on one property and at no extra cost.
The Smoke House is a truly great place for couples, families, group retreats, and family reunions.
The Smoke House added “Live Music on the Mountain – the Best of Nashville” a few years ago where Nashville music artists perform (no admission charge) to a family friendly audience every Friday & Saturday night at 6:30pm. “We want people to know there is another choice for vacations to go besides the Smokies, or Nashville,” said J.D. Oliver, Jim Oliver’s son. “Our cabins are far less expensive than those in Gatlinburg and we don’t have any of the traffic and congestion here; like they do in Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg and Nashville.”
With the economy the way it is, this is a shorter trip with long-lasting memories for the whole family. There are lots of outdoor opportunities, historical sites, fishing, canoeing, hiking, waterfalls, antique & craft shops, and other fun activities around the area for couples and the whole family.
The most popular accommodations at the Smoke House are the hideaway cabins. Twenty one rustic, log and timber frame cabins are located on the spacious property and are secluded enough to offer privacy, but close enough to walk or ride your bike to and from the lodge and the restaurant with ease.
The aromas of country ham, sliced bacon, hickory smoked barbecue, fresh fried chicken and sizzling hot catfish are enough to make anyone stop in their tracks and head to the Smoke House dining room where everyone can enjoy full menu selections for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as their famous daily all-you-can-eat buffet. The country meals feature three generations of family recipes served 365 days a year.
Their nearly famous country fried fruit pies defies description. Don’t be surprised if you feel the need for a fried pie “crisis intervention” to help you wean off this delectable dessert which includes natural peach, apple, apple caramel, chocolate, coconut, strawberry, chocolate, and more.
The late Jim Oliver said he started the Monteagle restaurant with the idea of preserving his family’s distinctly Southern tradition of country cooking. His son and daughter, J.D. and Betsy Oliver, said they cherish their father’s legacy and are committed to the same Southern hospitality and high quality of food their father always extended to their customers.
“Betsy and I are here everyday,” said J.D; “We’re not absentee owners. We take pride in our food & service and we enjoy personally meeting our customers and offering the best locally grown fresh foods, family recipes handed down from generations, unique one of a kind nostalgic atmosphere, family fun experience, real Nashville live music, and antiques, Americana Southern memories that are hard to find anywhere else.”
The Smoke House also boasts an old-fashioned nostalgic gift shop from a bygone era with antique displays containing vintage candies, 16 varieties of homemade fudge, rustic antique furniture, leather hats, handmade crafts & trinkets, wind up toys, glass bottled soda pops along with an online store with national mail-order service featuring Smoke House meats and other homemade goods.
“We offer 20 flavors of our special barbecue sauce in three different size bottles. We have 39 flavors of soft drinks, 16 flavors of homemade fudge and 29 flavors of taffy,” said J.D. whose life has revolved around bringing wholesome family fun and recreation to the Monteagle area.
“I grew up working with my dad here everyday since I was five,” said J.D. Oliver, 55. “By the time I was big enough to walk around he had me doing something – cleaning, cooking, washing dishes – until I went to college and got a degree. When I got out of college, I came back here and helped dad with accounting and marketing; we also dabled into construction and real estate.”
The expansion to their business proved to be a boon for the community as wall as the family. In a town with a population fewer than 1,300 people, the Smoke House restaurant packs in close to 400,000 visitors annually. J.D. estimates more than 30 million people have visited their location over the past five decades.
Each cabin features a private Jacuzzi tub, real wood-burning fireplace, mini to full size kitchen, king or queen bed and front porch. One, two, and 6-bedroom cabins are available for sleeping two to 15 people.
The deck features rocking chairs, outdoor eating tables and great scenery as nature surrounds you here. “To me, this place is spectacular,” said Marla Sitten, director of RadioActive Promotions. “I’ve seen it all – been around the world and that’s why I’m here. It’s a family-friendly environment where kids are welcome. The Live Music show every Friday and Saturday night is a good experience as a date night, family night, or a weekend romantic getaway. The nearby _South Cumberland State Park features over 50,000 acres, with over 200 miles of hiking trails, beautiful bluff overlooks, waterfalls, swimming holes, historic attractions – it has it all.”
When asked about their commitment to offering people and experience they would never forget, J.D. said, “Our goal is for people to enjoy themselves and come back. We want every visit to be like coming back home again. It’s like wanting other families to have the best of everything and they’re part of our family, people say that the Smoke House is a National Treasure.”
For and unforgettable stay at the perfect getaway, Jim Oliver’s Best Western Smoke House is the most flavorful escape to family fun, down-home cooking and Southern comforts in the Southeast. For further information about availability, rates, and reservations call 1-800-489-2091, then zero for the operator or visit HYPERLINK “http://www.TheSmokeHouse.com” www.TheSmokeHouse.com . You can also “Like” them on Facebook for instant updates and specials.
The perfect getaway: Jim Oliver’s Smoke House revised April 17, 2012
By: William Wright Lifestyles Paper