Smokin’ hot: Fat Boyz Barbecue to open Fort Lauderdale location April 20

April 20 is shaping up to be a big day for smokers in Fort Lauderdale — barbecue smokers, that is. Fat Boyz Barbecue plans to open its third location on Saturday, April 20, at the former site of Red Cow, at 1025 N. Federal Highway. The timing, on a date known as “Weed Day” because 4-20 is slang for cannabis, is strictly coincidental.

“I didn’t even think of that,” says owner Jarael Holston-Jones, a straitlaced U.S. Army veteran who serves as a pastor at his church. “I guess it’ll be a good day for people who are hungry for barbecue.”

The new Fat Boyz will be open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. April 20 but will be closed the next day — Easter Sunday — before operating on its usual schedule, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. daily.

“That weekend will be a little slower for us because of the holiday, so we figured it’s a good time to start,” Holston-Jones says.

The homegrown Fat Boyz has gained a large and loyal following in recent years, with a fleet of food trucks leading to successful brick-and-mortars in Deerfield Beach (February 2017) and Coral Springs (July 2018). Holston-Jones and wife Yolanda also opened Crazy Cajun Crabs, a seafood restaurant in Pompano Beach, this year.

The Fort Lauderdale Fat Boyz, across from the Gateway Cinema at the big bend of North Federal Highway and East Sunrise Boulevard, will feature an expanded menu. Fat Boyz (no relation and not to be confused with Phat Boy Sushi) specializes in Southern-style barbecue, with ribs, pulled pork, brisket, chicken, burnt ends, baked beans and collard greens. Its monster sandwiches featuring meats piled with mac-and-cheese have been popular. Beef rib will be offered on Fridays and Saturdays. The Fort Lauderdale restaurant also will offer fried chicken, fried catfish, burgers, tacos and smoked lobster tails.

Jarael and Yolanda began doing barbecue earlier this decade with fundraising cookouts at his church. “It started as a hobby and now it’s our passion,” he says. When they started with one truck, it parked near the Broward County Courthouse on weekdays for nearly two years.

“That was our launching pad,” Holston-Jones says. “We cultivated a lot of loyal customers at the courthouse, and they followed us to Deerfield and Coral Springs. We’re so happy to be back in Fort Lauderdale. We’ve got roots here.”

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