By JACKSON WILSON
Enquirer Democrat Reporter
Beaver Dam is known as a place where visitors can dine while enjoying nature sceneries on lakeside shores. Now, hungry guests can come to that same place and treat themselves to a food favorite that has become a staple of the American culture – barbecue.
United States’ Navy veteran and Carlinville native Tim Snodgrass started attending culinary school when he was in his 20s, but he originally found himself pursuing a career in journalism and broadcasting.
Eventually, Snodgrass decided to change jobs and follow in the foosteps of his father, who was a very well-known chef in the state of Florida.
With a desire to continue fulfilling his passion during retirement life, Snodgrass reached out to other chefs prior to taking part in a refresher management culinary course. He also gained a broader array of experience from other pitmasters while taking part in competitions.
At the conclusion of the COVID-19 pandemic, Snodgress returned to Carlinville with a goal of running his own food truck or restaurant. Snodgrass then heard about an opportunity to take over the Beaver Dam restaurant and locked up a 25-year lease on the facility after he completed a vendor registration.
Even though barbecue was something the local area didn’t commonly serve, the public was starving for it. That, in turn, became a calling card for Snodgrass.
Beaver Dam Smokehouse, BBQ and Grill officially opened Aug. 1.
Although it has only been a couple of weeks, Snodgrass is already pleased with his employees. He is additionally ecstatic to welcome new faces as well.
“I have had such a great staff helping to make this place worth it,” Snodgrass said. “Without them, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do, and I am always looking for talented cooks that want to make good money.”
Snodgrass also offers benefits at his business.
“I think that’s an important thing, whether someone wants them or not,” Snodgrass said. “They are available here and I’m not afraid to pay for experience. I like to surround myself with good, competant people because that’s what makes this work.”
Snodgrass develops signature spice rubs and a variety of recipes that include barbecue sauces.
“I feel like I’ve gotten everything to a point where I feel as if most people like them,” Snodgrass said. “I give all the credit to everyone who played a role in educating me about the basics of cooking over the years.”
Snodgrass offers a variety of food options from salads to soups and sandwiches, but he is reportedly the only local chef that serves slow-smoked Memphis-style barbecue.
In the future, Snodgrass plans to host “Prime Rib Nights,” and smoke other food items, including meatloaf.
“We’ve got all kinds of things we can do but we’re sticking to the original menu for right now, with a few specials to keep things consistent while making sure we do a good job with it currently,” Snodgrass said.
The restaurant is open year-round and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
Snodgrass additionally provides catering courtesy of the Route 66 Smokehouse BBQ company.
“Myself and my team are anxious to serve you,” Snodgrass said in a Facebook post.
Beaver Dam is located roughly eight miles southwest of Carlinville and 10 miles north of the Shipman area.
For more information, call 217-854-9400.