Uncle Tom’s Barbecue has opened its third location this week and has plans for a fourth.
The newest Uncle Tom's, located at 8345 SW 124th St., is open for lunch and dinner, starting today. This Wednesday, July 22, the restaurant will close to the public at 6 p.m. to prepare for a private reception and ribbon-cutting ceremony with Pinecrest Mayor Cindy Lerner and will resume normal operation Thursday morning at 11.
The restaurant has been serving ribs and chicken to Miamians since 1948 at its original location on SW Eighth Street. Back then, nearly 70 years ago, locals and tourists flocked to Uncle Tom's, which was basically the last chance for food and drink before heading across Tamiami Trail to the west coast of Florida.
Decades later, the restaurant changed hands, and the original flavors for which it was known were replaced. After a fire forced the iconic log cabin structure to close in 2013, the Rodriguez family, which own Pasta del Giorno in Pinecrest, purchased the restaurant. The family provided much-needed renovations and reinstated original menu favorites such as the original Uncle Tom's secret sauce. Co-owner Ariel Rodriguez said, "I grew up eating at Uncle Tom's Barbecue. My family and I considered it an institution, and when the opportunity arose to purchase the restaurant, we jumped at the chance to reintroduce that legacy."
After reopening the flagship Coral Gables location, the Rodriguez family planned to open an outpost in Pinecrest but found a perfect location in Hialeah — coincidentally while working on the Pinecrest space. The Hialeah restaurant, which needed little work done, opened in February 2015.
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Now the Pinecrest location is finally ready. The menu remains the same and features genuine pit-barbecue dishes such as baby-back ribs, spare ribs, chicken, pork, beef or barbecue brisket platters, salads, sandwiches, baked potatoes called "bakers," and desserts. Almost everything (except for dessert, possibly) is smothered in Uncle Tom's secret sauce, created by the Fantis family so many years ago.
Just as the Pinecrest restaurant has opened, the Rodriguez family has announced plans for a fourth Uncle Tom's, located in Homestead. A space has already been chosen, and the new restaurant will feature a full liquor bar. More information about the Homestead outpost will follow shortly.
Uncle Tom’s Barbecue in Pinecrest is open daily for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.