Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Everybody's Business

Down Home BBQ, a carry-out, opens in Valrico


Barbecue has been a tradition in Ernest Kennedy Jr.'s family for 100 years.

"My great-grandfather was from Georgia, and he moved to Tampa and he sold barbecue and moonshine," Kennedy said.

For eight years, Kennedy and his father operated a sit-down barbecue restaurant in New Tampa. They closed that eatery in August, and in February opened Kennedy's Down Home BBQ in the Shell station at State Road 60 and Valrico Road.

"We had a relationship with the owner of this location, and he's been trying to get us to come out and look at it for three years," Kennedy said. "Now that we're here, we wish we had moved here three years ago."

They have a strictly carry-out operation now, and that suits them just fine, Kennedy said. It's a simpler way of doing business so they can concentrate on cooking.

Business has been growing steadily, he said.

Customers who stop by for gas smell the smoke from the outdoor smoker, and once they sample the Kennedys' family recipes they're hooked, he said.

"Nobody does real barbecue anymore," Kennedy said. "They do it on gas grills, not pure oakwood the way we do. Our concept is to have great meat and great sauce. It's like a marriage. They belong together. A lot of other places have a good sauce, but they don't use great meat."

The menu features pork, chicken, sausage and a few side dishes. Kennedy said he expects to expand the menu as business grows.

Kennedy's Down Home BBQ is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, call (813) 735-5627.

Mexican food done fresh for the whole family

BRANDON — Quality Mexican food has become increasingly popular in the past few years. Luna's Mexican Restaurant is the latest area eatery to tap into the trend.

Luna's, which opened in January at Bloomingdale Avenue and Providence Road, offers fresh food in a family atmosphere. Virtually all the dishes and sauces are made from scratch every day.

Its owners say they strive to provide a family-friendly atmosphere with reasonable prices. Luna's also has a full bar that features happy hour specials on margaritas and draft beer from 2 until 7 p.m. every day.

Luna's is located at 5924 Providence Road. It's open from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call (813) 681-1590.

Sam's Club to open near U.S. 301 Thursday

RIVERVIEW — The big day for Hillsborough County bargain-hunters is almost here.

On Thursday, Sam's Club will open at 10385 Big Bend Road, near U.S. 301. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is set for 8 a.m., and the store will welcome its first customers at 8:30.

The 139,000-square-foot store offers its members bargains on everything from groceries and prescriptions to kitchen appliances.

Regular hours will be from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call (813) 371-2394 or visit

If you know of something that should be Everybody's Business, please contact Marty Clear at

Down Home BBQ, a carry-out, opens in Valrico 03/03/11 [Last modified: Thursday, March 3, 2011 3:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Hernando County Sheriff's Office: Deputies shoot suicidal woman who brandished shotgun


    BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County Sheriff's deputies shot a woman they believed to be suicidal after she pointed a shotgun at them Sunday, according to a police report.

  2. Trump administration disbands federal advisory committee on climate change


    WASHINGTON - The Trump administration has decided to disband the federal advisory panel for the National Climate Assessment, a group aimed at helping policymakers and private-sector officials incorporate the government's climate analysis into long-term planning.

    President Donald Trump. [Associated Press]
  3. Blake Snell shines as Rays beat Mariners to end skid (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell delivered the best outing of his young career and the Rays offense continued its home run-hitting ways for a 3-0 victory Sunday against the Mariners in front of 13,354 at Tropicana Field.

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) with starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) after the top of the seventh inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  4. No touchdown, but fun lesson for Bucs' Adam Humphries


    It didn't end up being a touchdown, but one of the Bucs' biggest hustle plays in Thursday's win over Jacksonville saw receiver Adam Humphries scoop up a loose ball just before halftime, after what looked like an incompletion but was correctly ruled a Jameis Winston fumble.

    Bucs WR Adam Humphries runs to the end zone with QB Jameis Winston trailing -- his alert play wasn't a touchdown because teammates cannot advance a fumble in the final two minutes of a half.
  5. Bucs' Demar Dotson should be back from injury next week


    The Bucs got good news on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI showed only a mild right groin sprain and should be back at practice next week.

    Bucs tackle Demar Dotson, shown last year when he signed a three-year contract extension, should only miss a week of practice with his groin injury and can return healthy for the Bucs' season opener at Miami in three weeks. [Octavio Jones | Times]