Wondering when Dr. BBQ will open in St. Petersburg? We've got a date

At last.

click to enlarge Korean gochujang ribs are one example of how Dr. BBQ embraces flavors from around the globe. - Courtesy of Datz Restaurant Group
Courtesy of Datz Restaurant Group
Korean gochujang ribs are one example of how Dr. BBQ embraces flavors from around the globe.

Well, the St. Petersburg community has waited quite a long time for Ray Lampe’s eponymous restaurant, Dr. BBQ. But the anticipated EDGE District smokehouse from Datz Restaurant Group and the doc himself has revealed its opening date as Oct. 17.

At last.

Lead pitmaster Lee Jasper, who met Lampe and Datz Restaurant Group owners Suzanne and Roger Perry in Texas, oversees the Dr. BBQ Oyler pit at 1101 First Ave. S. Inspired by techniques and flavors from around the globe, the 9,000-square-foot smokehouse focuses on New American barbecue, embracing both regional and international ingredients that result in classic ’cue with a twist.

Featured meats include Certified Angus Beef and pork from Compart Duroc, but vegetarian and vegan options are available, too — and not just salads or sides. Dishes like Taipei corn, kimchi fries, Brazilian pineapple and Mac-A-Phoni & Cheese (plump hominy, tequila habanero aged Cheddar queso, peppers, sweet onions and jalapeños topped with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos) accompany burnt ends, lamb belly bao, pork brisket and Korean gochujang ribs, among other items.

Since CL checked in with Dr. BBQ last year, corporate beverage director Jon Griffiths has joined Datz Restaurant Group to spearhead the smokehouse’s whiskey-heavy bar program. The team makes it a point to partner with Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and bourbon producers, including Buffalo Trace and Knob Creek, to source exclusive blends from private barrels.

What’s more, specialty and draft cocktails — think Jack N’ Cola (Jack Daniel’s and house-made soda) and Backyard Margarita (Espolòn Tequila and triple sec poured in a can of Mountain Dew with Hot Cheetos?!) — mingle with beers such as the proprietary pale ale lager brewed by Green Bench Brewing Co., which also calls the EDGE District home.

The smokehouse itself is housed inside a former steel-casting factory, which highlights an open kitchen and 200 indoor and outdoor seats spread out across two patios, two timber bars and two floors. Design elements like smoky brick, reclaimed barn wood and concrete floors are incorporated throughout Dr. BBQ, with saddle bar stools and coasters made from hand-stamped cardboard box pieces adding to its vintage feel.

As if you needed more convincing, here’s an outrageous, NSFW photo of the signature burger:

click to enlarge Can you even? - Courtesy of Datz Restaurant Group
Courtesy of Datz Restaurant Group
Can you even?

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