Bar-B-Que King readies for sleek new restaurant space in West Tampa

rendering of a BBQ restaurant with a large brick building on the far left, and a single floor grey facade on the right

COhatch, a rapidly growing, community-driven company which develops innovative shared work and social spaces, is working with local favorite, Bar-B-Que King, to revitalize their restaurant.

“We felt incredibly fortunate when we found the site for our West Tampa COhatch, and it already had Bar-B-Que King in it,” said Brian Sanders, Tampa Bay Market Leader at COhatch. “While their food on its own is great, they’ve also been nothing short of amazing to work with. We can’t wait to help them fulfill their vision of what Bar-B-Que King can be.”

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Bar-B-Que King was founded in the early 1960s by James Bloomfield, who was bestowed the nickname “The Bar-B-Que King” from customers when he was a cook at Zanzibar Bar-B-Que. It has since been passed down from generation to generation to his great granddaughters, Amelia Howard and Tiffany Powell. 

Facade of a BBQ restaurant. A red and white sign is set against a front awning. A long bar area is set up to the left of a takeout window.

“Our family has been in the West Tampa area before Bar-B-Que King ever existed,” said Powell. “We really care for this community that supported us as we grew up and now, as we run our family’s business. We’re lucky to have the support of our customers and our amazing landlord, Mr. Bernard Jordan, who continues to look out for us and wants us to succeed.”

Howard and Powell’s vision for the restaurant will help it thrive. The sisters want to keep the dreams their parents and grandparents had for Bar-B-Que King alive, by creating a welcoming and vibrant space, and by expanding their reach. Returning customers from all over the country and world constantly tell them how excited they are to grab a meal from them when they’re in the area. They believe COhatch will also help bring new people into the neighborhood.

Rendering of a counter inside a bbq restaurant. Black and white photos hang above the register. Menu boards are situated behind the counter.

“This area has become a bit of a ghost town in recent years and we really believe COhatch is going to bring vibrancy and community back to it,” said Howard. “They’re here to add to the culture and dynamic. To improve what we have, rather than destroy it.”

Two women in t-shirts that read "Bar-B-Que King" stand in front of a small restaurant.

COhatch will be upgrading Bar-B-Que King’s kitchen and adding indoor and outdoor seating as part of its building renovations to the West Tampa building. COhatch’s space in the building  will include coworking areas, private offices, meeting rooms, event space and more. COhatch West Tampa is currently slated to open in January of 2023, with three other west central Florida locations opening in St. Petersburg, Tarpon Springs, and Lakeland in 2022 and 2023.

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