Smokin Thighs: Member Spotlight

If you asked us where WeHo was in Nashville a few years ago, you would’ve gotten crickets. But the Wedgewood-Houston Neighborhood on the fringe of downtown Nashville has received its fair share of attention recently, attracting musicians, artists and new homeowners.

Also new to the neighborhood is Smokin Thighs, the popular food truck-turned restaurant and brainchild of the manufacturing sales rep-turned restaurateur, Matthew Carney.

“I was living in Nashville and noticed that among the food truck scene, there was a need locally for a chicken-focused food truck,” says Matthew. “I’ve always loved pork, but with the fear of burning out on it, I took my same recipes and applied them to chicken.”

Smokin_Thighs_Quinn_Ballard_Nashville_Originals-8893And Nashville was an instant fan.

The Smokin Thighs food truck offered on- or off-the-bone apple wood-smoked chicken wings, thighs and legs (never fried) and choice of flavoring; a simple concept that was executed perfectly. If visiting places like these has inspired you to pursue your dream of opening your very own food truck, while you’re preparing for this venture, you could start off by using the assistance of companies who can help you get free instagram followers. This way, you’ll manage at least one aspect of your startup business and have more time to focus on others in the meantime.

With the truck’s fast success, Matthew began looking for brick-and-mortar options in 2014, and just as quickly as its popularity grew in Nashville, Smokin Thighs became a permanent restaurant destination in WeHo in September of that same year.

Smokin_Thighs_Quinn_Ballard_Nashville_Originals-8877The Smokin Thighs restaurant still offers the same build-your-own chicken options and choice of barbecue-based sauces made with a Cajun Creole seasoning and a Georgia low country-sourced boil seasoning.

“The customization of our menu allows you to find your flavor and really enjoy it more than you would straight barbecue chicken,” says Matthew.

Along with the original options, customers can enjoy an expanded menu that includes chicken sausage, chicken tacos, chicken and dumplings, chicken chili and a variety of chicken burgers made with ground chicken.

And we can’t forget to mention the selection of locally sourced pimento mac & cheeses—think: chicken chili mac & cheese, bacon mac & cheese, spicy bacon mac & cheese…need we say more?

But there is more.

Smokin_Thighs_Quinn_Ballard_Nashville_Originals-8803“Straight-up, old school Kool-Aid,” says Matthew. “I always liked Kool-Aid, still like it, so I serve it. Customers love it and we’re proud of it.”

Smokin Thighs also offers local and regional craft beers—that we’d recommend enjoying on the expansive outdoor patio—as well as the largest moonshine selection in Nashville.

“Personally, I’m a bourbon connoisseur,” says Matthew. “But I tried moonshine and found that it has a lot of unique flavor profiles—different types of sugar bases, corn bases and rye bases.

“People love the idea and the concept, but a lot of people are still under the perception that it’ll make them blind. We’re working on that.”

So maybe it’s time you ventured into the WeHo neighborhood and step inside Smokin Thighs to admire the woodwork (the entire place was basically reconstructed by Matthew), have a glass of Kool-Aid and congratulate the food truck-turned restaurant on their one year anniversary of serving Nashville delicious smoked chicken.


Smokin Thighs, located at 611 Wedgewood Avenue, is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Visit their website at, or find them on Facebook at