A popular barbecue chain shining the spotlight on American heroes and patriotism will launch its newest Tampa location near the University of South Florida next month.
Maryland-based Mission BBQ opened the doors of its first concept Sept. 11, 2011.
"Ten years after our world changed forever, in some small way we wanted to change it back," say founders Bill Kraus and Steve Newton on the restaurant brand's website.
The friends have two things in common — a passion for their country and barbecue. They traveled across the states, from Texas to North Carolina, to master the cuisine, and their goal is to honor those who have protected and served America and its communities.
Since its inception, Mission BBQ has expanded to seven states, with more than 24 restaurants. The menu highlights a range of authentic 'cue (Texas-inspired smoked brisket, St. Louis-style spare ribs, pulled chicken sandwiches) and sides (mac and cheese, baked beans, "cold slaw"). But this is just the beginning, as the plan is to open 40 locations across the East Coast by 2017.
With each concept that opens, the brand continues to donate to local and national organizations, and the North Tampa/New Tampa location at 13621 Bruce B. Downs Blvd. will be no different. The restaurant is set to host multiple charity nights leading up to its April 18 grand opening.
The gatherings include April 13's invitation-only event to raise proceeds for the Hillsborough County Fire Rescue Foundation, another invitation-only event for the Gold Shield Foundation April 14, and an open-to-the-public sneak peek of the new restaurant, benefiting Special Operations Warrior Foundation, April 15.
During the grand opening, a live rendition of the National Anthem and ribbon-cutting ceremony are also in store.
Mission BBQ in Temple Terrace will operate at University Plaza 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.