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CROSS LANES, W.Va. — A butcher shop in Cross Lanes seems to be an unlikely place to be greeted by the voice of Bob Marley, but owner Ron Cole wears his love of reggae music on his sleeve. It’s also an unlikely place to find a great pizza, but the WV Brick Oven Bistro offers just that.

Located in the back of T&M Meats, the WV Brick Oven Bistro offers pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, salads and a variety of craft beers.

“Ray Moles started the meat market 30 years ago. He sold it to new owners, who had the business for about three years,” said Cole, owner of the WV Brick Oven Bistro and T&M Meat Market. “They ran into financial troubles, and I was the real estate agent that listed it for them. I couldn’t find a buyer, so I decided to purchase it myself at the last minute.”

Within six months, he realized the butcher shop could not survive on its own, he said.

“I was eating a brick oven pizza with my daughter in Cincinnati who was fighting leukemia. ... She said, ‘You’re clean, you’re OCD, and your food is awesome. Why don’t you start a restaurant?’ “ Cole said. “We fired it up in May after she graduated and made our first 35 pizzas. It was a pretty big hit. We started with the pizza for 10 months and then expanded. We busted a hole in the wall and built a kitchen in a storage room.”

The menu offers a selection of specialty pizzas served on a crispy brick oven baked crust, such as the Tickle My Pickle ($15) topped with dill pickles with a garlic parmesan base. The menu also pays homage to founder Ray Moles with Ray’s Steak & Cheese, which has shaved ribeye steak, garlic, caramelized onions, roasted peppers and mushrooms with a garlic white base. You can also build your own pizza with four toppings for $14. There is a daily lunch special from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. featuring a 6-inch two-topping pizza, a small salad and a drink.

“One of our pies, the Holy Tots, has a pretty cool story. I have a friend of a friend who worked as a cook at Greenbrier. He was eating our tator tots and dipping them in our beer cheese. He then showed me how we could do a pizza with that,” Cole said. “We have one that’s not on the menu yet that we call The Goat, which is topped with goat cheese and peppadew peppers with a balsamic reduction. It’s a phenomenal pizza.”

The menu also includes house-made burgers ($7.50), which include a half ground beef, half bacon burger blend. You can also enjoy a chef salad ($9), a fried bolonga sandwich ($6) or grilled cheese ($5). Wings are available starting at $6 for eight regular wings or $5 for eight boneless wings. Sauce options include Buff-a-Q Blend, Honey Chipotle and Garlic Parmesan. The menu also offers a grilled chicken breast ($14.99) or a steak ($24.99) served with a salad and your choice of sides. The bar also offers dozens of beers on draft, including West Virginia brews from Weathered Ground Brewery, Stumptown Ales, Chestnut Brew Works and Greenbrier Valley Brewing.

“When it comes to beer, my favorite styles are IPAs and Sour. The West Virginia Beers are doing phenomenal. We have 30 different taps that we rotate around. We also fill growlers,” Cole said.

WV Brick Oven Bistro is located inside T&M Meats at 5254 Big Tyler Road in Cross Lanes, West Virginia. It is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Closed Sundays and Mondays. Cash and all major credit cards are accepted. For carry-out orders, custom butcher shop orders or more information, call 304-776-4809. You can follow them at https://www.facebook.com/wvbob/ or visit http://www.tandmmeats.com/wv-brick-oven-bistro/.

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