Three Barbecue Joints Close Suddenly
There is definitely no shortage of Barbecue places in South Florida. But the team at South Florida Eats recently learned that three local places all closed within weeks of each other.
This is the same restaurant that we reviewed on our site before. It’s part of the Be Nice Restaurant Group, a locally owned restaurant group and was located on the curve as you headed from Federal Highway to West Sunrise Blvd. Many of their restaurants are popular in the area, and people either like them or don’t. We did a review of Redcow here on South Florida Eats back a few years ago. We really loved the food and the service was amazing. But then the restaurant decided to change their format from a nice casual sit down place to fast casual.
This change made it seem like you were ordering at a cafeteria and you had to bus your own table. The sad part is that the food was actually very good and people raved about it. While most of the time this is probably not a big deal and works for many barbecue restaurants, it is not a good thing to change to when your clientele is already used to sitting down and table service. The owners blamed the closing on stagnant growth numbers of patrons. No kidding, there was a reason people like going there, it was the service they received. Some of their menu items will live on at their other restaurants, but this is a good lesson on not trying to fix something that was not broken.
Blue Willy’s Barbecue was an up and coming restaurant that originally was located in Pompano Beach. The one problem with this location was that it was small and did not offer much parking. After gathering a cult like following, Blue Willy’s moved their location to a much larger space in Fort Lauderdale on Commercial Blvd, just east of Dixie Highway into what was an old Burger King restaurant. IT seemed like this was going to be a very good move for them and for awhile you would see nice crowds of people showing up and ordering their food. Some would sit inside at the ample table seating, while others would do take out.
Thursdays were especially popular when they served smoked pastrami, the only time you could get it each week. However since the move to the new location, they were also plagued with some complaints, and one such complaint caused them to have inspection that resulted in a shut down in August of 2017, but passed it’s last five inspections. Suddenly one day the smoker was gone from out back and the restaurant was closed down. There are lots of rumors around why, but we won’t get into them until an official word is out. The food here was pretty good in our opinion, but sometimes when you move locations it is not always a good thing.
Jack’s was another barbecue restaurant that closed recently without any notice or signs of trouble. Located on Oakland Park Blvd, near Primanti Brothers, Jack’s was a easy to get to restaurant with large smokers outside. I used to live near this place and loved the smell of the mesquite and other woods burning all day and night. The owner had trained under the mentor-ship of the team at Tom Jenkins Barbecue in Fort Lauderdale for many years. He eventually ventured out on his own and Jack’s was born. For many years this place was popular with locals and convenient to many people living in the area. Suddenly the other day I drove buy, and the sign was gone, the place was empty, with no signs of life at all. I’m not quite sure what happened here either, but another barbecue is out of business.
There are still many other places to check out in the are, so stay tuned for updates from us and reviews on some of the spots we go to.