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LEXINGTON, N.C. – For decades, the sweet smell of wood smoke and roasting pork has drifted up from Lexington Barbecue.

“This is the way barbecue is supposed to be worked up,” said Wayne Monk, who opened the restaurant in 1962. He learned the craft from the pioneers of Lexington Barbecue and today not much has changed. “We are still cooking the same way.”

Each day, hot coals are carefully spread underneath the pits to ensure a low, even heat to slow cook the pig shoulders to perfection.

“We’ve varied our recipe a little bit,” he said. “We thought we had improved on it to give people what they wanted.”

The place has become legendary, with articles and big-name customers including President Bill Clinton.

“He spent about four hours with us one time,” Monk said.

Despite the accolades, Wayne decided to step back from the day-to-day grind a few years ago and handed that over to his son.

“Everything I learned, I learned in this place,” Rick Monk said. “I’m a product of my dad.”

Carrying on a tradition with this place and town synonymous with barbecue.