When Atomic Grill opened in 2013, it was a welcome arrival in then-barbecue starved Morgantown.

Atomic serves up a tomato-based West Virginia barbecue sauce that diners love, with Mustard, White, Hawaiian, and other variations ranging in heat up to Inferno. The kitchen reworked its menu last fall, changing up some of its brisket, pork, and chicken dishes and adding smoked sausage, says manager Casey Shaffer. It updated its vegetarian options, and all of the sauces and some dishes are gluten-free. The burgers, sliders, and Fried Green Tomato PoBoy get a lot of customer love online. No matter what changes on the menu, it’s still the meaty signature dishes—ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and the popular burgers—that anchor the operation.

Customers also love the restaurant’s commitment to sourcing locally. A chalkboard state painted on the wall displays the locations where West Virginia–produced meats, vegetables, and beers come from—places like Hawthorne Valley Farms in Harrison County.

What accounts for Atomic’s popularity even as other really good barbecue joints have come along? “We were pretty much the grandfathered barbecue place that started everything off,” Shaffer says. “And we’ve got a good staff and good customers who keep coming in.” — PK

595 Green Bag Road, 304.241.1170, atomicgrillmotown.com @atomicgrill on Facebook

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Pam Kasey
Written by Pam Kasey
Pam Kasey has traveled, brewed, farmed, counseled, and renovated, but most loves to write. She has degrees in economics from the University of Chicago and in journalism from West Virginia University. She loves celebrating Morgantown and West Virginia as executive editor at New South Media.