Skip to main content
Southwest Orange Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019 1 year ago

Carolina cravings: Brother Jimmy’s coming to Restaurant Row

The barbecue restaurant serves North Carolina-style barbecue and is expected to open in early 2020.
by: Eric Gutierrez Staff Writer

Restaurant Row is getting a new spot for some down-home, North Carolina-style cooking.

Brother Jimmy’s BBQ will be bringing its brand of slow-smoked meats to Restaurant Row early next year. It will be located next to the Chipotle at the Marketplace at Dr. Phillips shopping center, 7800 Dr. Phillips Blvd., Suite 200, Orlando. 

Dave Blitstein, operating partner of the Brother Jimmy’s Dr. Phillips location, also owns the Brother Jimmy’s BBQ in West Palm Beach and is the operating partner of the restaurants other Orlando locations. He started as the chain’s corporate chef and — although he left it for a number of years — eventually returned. 

The first Brother Jimmy’s BBQ opened in 1989 in New York City, and the restaurant now has locations in Maryland, Connecticut, Florida and other parts of New York.

“Brother Jimmy’s was the brainchild of Jimmy Goldman, who graduated from Duke University,” Blitstein said. “I’ve known Jimmy since we were kids, and Jimmy always envisioned opening up a barbecue place. He opened a small location on the upper east side of Manhattan, and it quickly took off.”

The restaurant offers an array of made-from-scratch menu items, such as pulled pork, barbecue ribs, collard greens, cornbread and baked beans. Although pork is typically king when it comes to Carolina barbecue, Brother Jimmy’s also offers slow-smoked brisket.

“Carolina barbecue has two different facets to it,” Blitstein said. “There’s eastern Carolina barbecue, which is more of a vinegar- and red pepper-based barbecue, whereas west coast North Carolina (barbecue) is more like tomato, brown sugar (and) molasses. So, it’s a little bit different, but still vinegar based. Everything is vinegar-based in North Carolina (barbecue). … We do everything from scratch and we do everything in-house.”

The Brother Jimmy’s restaurant in Dr. Phillips will be the third in the Orlando area, and it will be the first fast-casual variant of Brother Jimmy’s in the area. The restaurant has a full-service location opening in the Pointe Orlando on International Drive and a quick-service location opening up in the food court at one of the Premium Outlet malls. 

“Dr. Phillips is one of the prime locations in all of Orlando,” Blitstein said. “The demographic there really seems to enjoy food. They like going out. They really appreciate cuisine, and that particular location that became available — you don’t see it open up very often.

“We think it’s a great place for us to start with this (fast-casual) concept there,” he said. “It’s right in the middle of everything. … People eat well there, and I think that they’d really appreciate this real authentic, down-home type of cuisine.”


Eric Gutierrez is a staff writer with the West Orange Times & Observer and the West Orange Observer. He graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2015 with a double major in Journalism and Political Science. Contact Eric at...

See All Articles by Eric

Related Stories