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May 17, 2009 09:40 AM

Big John's Alabama BBQ (Tampa)

I decided to make a run to Big John's last night (the 40th street location) and was shocked to find an empty lot. The building has been completely leveled. Anyone know what happened and whether there is a new location in the works? I would be very sorry to lose Big John's. There is still the south Tampa location (I suppose), but the one time I went it seemed like it was not up to the original restaurant's standards. I ended up at Sooo Good Southern BBQ on Hillsborough. The ribs were, indeed, good (some were dry- that happens) but that sweet potato souffle is outrageous.

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  1. I had just the same experience a couple of weeks ago and was devastated! What's the deal? I was taking a friend there who had never been there and was so proud to show it off... What a crushing disappointment!

    Hey CFishman, where is Sooo Good on Hillsborough? Is it a classic Q joint?

    2 Replies
    1. re: rebecca.kukla


      It's strange, if you google Sooo Good Southern BBQ, it comes up with a wrong address (but an accurate picture of the place). While I can't, then, tell you the address, it is easy enough to find. The restaurant is on the south side of Hillsborough about a 1/2 mile east of Taconazo. I noticed the hours the last time I was there and they are closed on Monday and Tuesday. It's basically just a gussied up stand although they have just added an overhang over the two outdoor tables. I can't really imagine wanting to picnic along side Hillsborough but that's just me. I think you will find the BBQ is generally on par with Big John's, Jazzy's, and Cally's Sticky Bones. The sauce is more tomato than vinegar, which might suit some people's tastes better. The fried chicken is pretty good too. Make sure to get the sweet potato souffle.

      1. re: CFishman

        Thanks! I will definitely try it ... and report back on whether it does anything to alleviate my mourning over the loss of Big John's.

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. I think they are closed b/c 40th St. is widening and they ended up having to tear the bldg one going to be built there as well.

        1. I too was saddened to see BJ's Alabama gone. We walked in the day before they tore it down and was told(by someone who was working on getting stuff outta there) a re-open is coming soon. Will post again once I drive by and see them open.

          1. I am not sure if it is the same owners, but there is a BJs Alambama BBQ that opened on South Dale Mabry within the past year. I know they came from another location that had been opened for a long time....May be the same? It was VERY good bbq.

            1 Reply
            1. re: tampa eater

              I am glad to hear that they are serving good bbq at the south tampa location. I was there in the weeks following the opening and things were a bit chaotic. I now look forward to going back.