Fat Boyz Barbecue coming to old Red Cow site
Meaty news for barbecue lovers: Fat Boyz Barbecue is coming to Fort Lauderdale.
Owner Jarael Holston says he has signed a lease to take over the site vacated by Red Cow barbecue restaurant last summer. Holston says he hopes to have the latest Fat Boyz location open by mid-March.
“It’s basically a turnkey — most everything is in place since it already was a barbecue restaurant,” Holston says. “There’s a hood and space for a smoker inside and a couple of smokers out back. The kitchen is huge. We’ll be able to offer some new items, like burgers, BBQ tacos and fried chicken.”
The restaurant, at 1025 N. Federal Highway, will be Fat Boyz’s third brick-and-mortar, joining the Deerfield Beach flagship (which opened in February 2017) and a Coral Springs location that opened last July. Fat Boyz also operates three food trucks.
Holston, an Ely High graduate and U.S. Army veteran, and wife Yolanda started by doing fundraising cookouts earlier this decade at the church where he served as pastor.
“This is the next stage of our journey and we’re so happy to be back in Fort Lauderdale,” Holston says. When they started with one truck, it parked near the Broward County Courthouse on weekdays for nearly two years.
“That was our launching pad,” Holston says. “We cultivated a lot of loyal customers at the courthouse, and they followed us to Deerfield and Coral Springs. We’ve got roots here.”
Holston says he sensed opportunity in central Fort Lauderdale with the rapid-fire shuttering last summer of Red Cow, Blue Willy’s (on East Commercial Boulevard) and Jack’s BBQ (on East Oakland Park Boulevard). “It was like a barbecue wipe-out,” Holston says. “I think each had circumstances unique to it, and people still want to eat good barbecue.”
Red Cow, which lasted five years, had challenges because
of the store’s tricky location, on the big bend of Norh Federal Highway/US 1 and East Sunrise Boulevard across from the Gateway Theatre. Access is restricted, with those coming from the west/south needing to make a U-turn farther up the road.
“Our customers will make the effort to get there — it’ll be a destination spot,” Holston says. He also likes the location because it is close to the beach, where he caters many family reunions and holiday parties (July 4th, Labor Day). “We have a base here that’s bigger than tourists.”
But Holston says he signed only a three-year lease because he’d like to find a standalone building in Fort Lauderdale for a longer-term home. “We’ve been truly blessed,” Holston says.
Fat Boyz (no relation and not to be confused with Phat Boy Sushi) specializes in Southern-style barbecue, with ribs, pulled pork, brisket, chicken, burnt ends, mac-and-cheese and collard greens. Its monster sandwiches featuring meat piled with mac-and-cheese have been popular. I must have caught the Deerfield Beach location during an off week; the eatery has legions of fans because of friendly service and good value. The Deerfield Beach site had a vandalism incident last year that triggered an outpouring of support from customers.
Holston says the Coral Springs location, at 6192 W. Sample Road, has been doing well, a favored spot for families because of its “Kids Eat Free,” promotion from 3 to 9 p.m. Monday-Friday. Children 10 and younger get a pulled pork sandwich or hot dog with a side dish (no drink) with another family member’s meal purchase.
Fat Boyz Barbecue is coming soon to Fort Lauderdale after opening eateries in Deerfield Beach and Coral Springs.