Smells of pizza and pasta once permeated the walls of 3324 W Gandy Blvd.
Now, the scent of barbecue will fill the air as The Smoke Shack replaces Luigi's Italian Restaurant.
For three years, The Smoke Shack operated solely as a food truck.
Beginning Feb. 15, the three owners, Matt Moskos, Darin Herman and Mark Awmiller, will realize their initial dream of owning a restaurant.
"We wanted to open one from the beginning but it was tough to find a space," Moskos said. "None of us had ever had a restaurant either, so we wanted to dip our feet in by using the truck."
Like the food truck, the new restaurant will be fast-casual.
Menu items including beef brisket, St. Louis-style ribs, truffle mac and cheese, baked beans and more will be behind glass making it easy for customers to see what they want.
Once they order and get their food, they can sit down in one of 52 seats inside or one of the 16 patio chairs.
Though room was tight in the truck to cook chicken, the new menu will include chicken and wings.
Beer including local craft options as well as wine will also be new items.
"We do everything from scratch," Moskos said. "None of our stuff is processed. We don't get anything that's already made."
The truck that started it all will be mobile or possibly go to another permanent location.
"We do a lot of business out of truck already so there won't be a huge grand opening."
They're just excited to open the doors.
Visit smokeshack-bbq.com for more information.
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