Kojak’s, a Tampa BBQ institution, will be demolished this summer

exterior bbq restaurant surrounded by oak trees

Kojak’s BBQ has been located off Bayshore Boulevard and Gandy for decades, and this summer the iconic house of ribs will be demolished to make way for apartments, according to a report by Fox 13 Tampa Bay.

The restaurant is located inside a home built in 1927 at 2808 W. Gandy Boulevard. It was the first house on the block, and back in the 1920s it was nothing but woods. Today, the area just shy of Bayshore Boulevard is booming with apartment and condo developments.


Kojak’s will remain open for now, and we highly recommend you make a point to visit. The ribs are divine. The apple cake is other worldly, and the portions are perfect.

warm chocolate cake with ice cream on top
Mama’s Chocolate Cake | Photo via Kojak’s

This BBQ haven has been family owned and operated since 1978. Kojak’s prides itself on its menu. Enjoy homemade eats from Cole Slaw to Mama’s Chocolate Cake (World Famous)!  She also has an unparalleled homemade fresh Apple Cake, exquisite with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream on top. Other items include BBQ Beef & Pork – lean, tender, and juicy, BBQ’d in Kojak’s zesty BBQ sauce. Pulled Pork, Kojak’s latest addition to the Menu, tender and juicy – sure to become legendary.

The name “Kojak’s” comes from Bill (JW) Forney who was chief of detectives in Midwest City, Oklahoma (A Super Sleuth!).  Although he left the police force and went into the BBQ Business the name stuck!  He opened his place in the early 70’s and called it House Of Ribs right across from Tinker A.F.B in Midwest City. His brother, Bud Forney, opened this BBQ Rib House in Tampa and used Bill’s special recipe for the spare ribs, thus “Kojak’s House Of Ribs.


Owner Chris Forney is currently seeking a new location for Kojaks, something smaller and easier to maintain. Fingers are crossed that he finds something soon. In the meantime, we’ll still be noshing on ribs off Gandy.

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