Holy Hog Barbecue is dishing up a piece of prime real estate in downtown Tampa. In this case the plate is filled with Southern-style barbecue and comfort foods, with a glass of sweet tea to wash it down.
Or if the taste is more toward beers or a glass of wine with your barbecue, owner Danny Hernandez hopes to pour that as well. He is awaiting approval on an alcohol beverage license but the lease agreement on the city-owned site for $3,000 a month has been approved by Tampa City Council.
The five-year-lease has options to extend Holy Hog's stay an additional five years. Hernandez is planning an outdoor patio and wants to include craft beers in the restaurant's drink selections.
is scheduled to open in the spring at 302 E. Kennedy Blvd., in the former site of Quizno's Subs next to the Tampa Police Headquarters.
"It's a logical place for us to be," Hernandez says of his fourth Holy Hog location. "The fact that you've got a captive audience downtown and on top of that residential in downtown is growing exponentially. Downtown is having a renaissance."
Hernandez and family go way back in restaurant memory. His father, Ramon Hernandez, Sr., opened Pipo's, "the Original Cuban Cafe," in the late 1970s.
The menu at the new Holy Hog will be identical to the brand established at other locations. That means its signature barbecue, shrimp and grits, beef brisket, macaroni and cheese, fried chicken and waffles and Cowboy baked beans will be served.
Holy Hog opened at 3501 N. Armenia Avenue nearly eight years ago. Since then it has expanded to 4004 Henderson Boulevard and The Tampa Bay Times Forum at 401 Channelside Dr. And, Hernandez says there could be more Holy Hog openings in future.
"We're really excited about being (downtown)," Hernandez says. "It's something the city really doesn't have."
Writer: Kathy Steele
Source: Danny Hernandez, Holy Hog