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Don Boyd | all galleries >> Memories of Old Hialeah, Old Miami and Old South Florida Photo Galleries - largest non-Facebook collection on the internet >> Miami Area RESTAURANTS, Drive-Ins, Bars, Lounges, Liquor Stores, Clubs, Strip Joints, etc. Gallery - All Years - click to view > 1961 - Uncle Tom's Barbecue at 3988 Tamiami Trail (SW 8th Street), Miami
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1961 Courtesy of Pat Fantis

1961 - Uncle Tom's Barbecue at 3988 Tamiami Trail (SW 8th Street), Miami

3988 Tamiami Trail, Miami, Florida

Thank you to Pat Fantis for contributing this great old image of his father's (Tom) barbecue restaurant that was across the street from Anthony Abraham Chevrolet on the Trail east of LeJeune Road.

Pat grew up in the Gables in the 1950's and 60's, attending Coral Gables Elementary, St. Theresa's, Ponce Junior High and he graduated from Coral Gables High. He says that "Uncle Toms Barbecue" is still there but now serves mainly Latin cuisine because they sold the business and property several years ago. He also says that the lot next door is vacant in the photo, that a bank was built there in the late 1960's, and now it's a florist business.

UPDATE: 7/1/14: I saw a segment on Channel 6 about Uncle Tom's Barbecue re-opening after a fire that caused the entire building to be rebuilt. Please visit their website at for all the details about their new building and their menu items.

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Chilidogdave03-Oct-2014 23:56
Ate here hundreds of times early 70's. I always wonder why the owners were named Fantis and I was friends with a family by the name Efantis. The girls dad was a miami or metro dade cop for many years. I always thought the Efantis family had something to do with the ownership of Uncle Toms and I have seen both the Efantis and Fantis name associated with this place. Does anyone know what the connection is?
Don Boyd01-Jul-2014 16:11

7/1/14: Uncle Tom's has re-opened after rebuilding the restaurant after a fire. I saw a segment on Channel 6 this morning about the re-opening and intend on paying them a visit in the near future to sample their fine barbecue. Their website is located at

Nick 02-Jun-2014 15:43
I ate here from the time I was 19 (1984) to a little after it was sold by the Fantis family. Fantis' son, I think he was a lawyer, finally sold it after his dad died. His dad was a great guy. Always in a good mood and friendly. Though I went there for over 20 years, he knew me only as "chicken man" because 99 percent of time I ordered the half chicken. The sauce was unbelievable, but I loved the cole slaw too. Man, I miss that half chicken. It was the ultimate comfort food.
Jeff 27-Nov-2013 07:50
The building was originally a plumbing supply. The original owner decided to change businesses and opened up Col. Jim's Bar-B-Q. Tommy Fantis bought it, and when his partner became too much to deal with, he sold him the restaurant and Tommy opened Tommy's Bar-B-Q on LeJeune Road.

Some time later, the partner (according to Tommy) begged him to take back the restaurant (he probably got in over his head by opening a second location on the 79th Street Causeway) and Tommy did, but renamed it Uncle Tom's to distance himself from his ex-partner.

Inwas told that the secret to the success of their barbecue sauce was molasses...
Charlie 22-Jul-2013 01:13
Pat, I sure miss the Old Uncle Tom's! I went many times to buy that incredible bbq sauce; it was one of a kind! I've never had another sauce that was as good! I can still taste that sauce in my head but I wish I could slather it on a slab of ribs :(
Guest 19-Feb-2013 04:31
Anyone know what happened to the BBQ sauce recipe?
Jeffrey 22-Oct-2010 15:12
I sure miss the bbq sauce they use to have. they do not have it anymore. The restaurant is really bad now. Does anyone have the recipe i would love to have it
Guest 20-Jan-2010 16:29
As a good friend of Pat Fantis growing up In the Gables, we used to go there and visit and chat with his relatives. I believe that an uncle of Pats also worked there. It was a landmark. The food was great and their sauce ws unbelievable. Pat thanks for posting this great place full of memories of our youth.
Your Brother
Eric Munoz
Pat Fantis 19-Jan-2010 23:07
Note the beautiful old Coral Gables Entrance (Douglas Road) visible in the background to the left - sadly it is overshadowed by the architectural monstrosity that stands there today.

Pre airconditioning, note the jalousie windows. The building was originally covered with "log cabin" siding of 1/2 sawn pine logs that were prone to rot in our hot wet summers. It was re-sided with red brick in the 70's and remains so today.