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Dr. BBQ restaurant closes

Veronica Brezina



Ray "Dr. BBQ" Lampe. Website image.

Dr. BBQ The Restaurant and Burnt Ends Tiki Bar served its last meal Thursday, following the recent sale of the building. 

The popular restaurant at 1101 Central Ave. S., across from Tropicana Field, is owned by The Datz Group and operated by Ray “Dr. BBQ” Lampe. 

The group sold the nearly 8,000-square-foot building in August to South Florida-based Pernicious LLC, operating as PTM Partners, in a $4.5 million deal. Co-owners Roger and Suzanne Perry of The Datz Group were leasing the building back.

Dr. BBQ The Restaurant. GoogleMaps.

In a St. Petersburg Foodies podcast interview with Lampe, a licensor of the Dr. BBQ name brand, he said Dr. BBQ was successful but “the property value exceeds the interest in running a restaurant” and the buyer, PTM Partners, plans to demolish the restaurant. 

PTM Partners is the same group behind the nearby mixed-use Edge Collective project, which is underway and will feature a ground-up, 163-key Moxy Hotel by Marriott on 1234-1246 Central Ave.

“The real thing that happened was Roger had an opportunity to sell the building. If you look at the Moxy Hotel they are building across the parking lot, those folks [developing that project] approached Roger and Suzanne and asked if they could buy our building,” Lampe said in the interview. “I know it’s a business decision and I have no say-so, but I told Roger I think he made the right decision.”

Dr. BBQ The Restaurant’s dishes. Instagram image.

“The developer would like to have someone come into that space for 18 months,” Lampe said, explaining he’s not interested in operating a restaurant, but there’s interest from other parties. 

The Datz Group didn’t immediately provide a comment to the St. Pete Catalyst regarding the closure of the restaurant. 

The Datz Group also operates the Datz chain in Tampa, St. Pete and Riverview, as well as its Dough bakery, and Donovan’s Meatery in Riverview.

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  1. Avatar


    December 30, 2022at5:54 pm

    Money rules here in the Burg. Why not just call it the BUCK. Everything is for sale and investors will do whatever needs to be done. Alas perhaps Dr BQ will rise from the ashes somewhere in Largo or Dunedin. Good luck sir.

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    Karen Kirkpatrick

    December 30, 2022at6:59 pm

    So heartbreaking. I am originally from Memphis and have lived in St. Petersburg for 30 years. This place blew me away with its unbelievably awesome barbecue and other inventive, mouth-watering dishes as well as the cool and avant-garde decor. It will be sorely missed as there was simply no other place like Dr. BBQ. It is a crying shame.

  3. Avatar

    Justin Ray

    December 30, 2022at7:36 pm

    Food wasn’t all that anyway

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    December 31, 2022at6:51 am

    Was too overpriced for what it was, can’t be going to a barbecue restaurant and paying $120 check, I’m sorry.

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    December 31, 2022at8:35 am

    Sell out. At least it isn’t a car wash or storage unit. This town is turning into crap. High raises every where , raising rents for locals making it hard to live here because no where pays well. They need to ban east coast people who have ruined this town

  6. Avatar

    Dawn Kovarik

    December 31, 2022at9:37 am

    I am so sad to hear this. One of our favorite restaurants in St Pete. I didn’t even like barbeque until I ate Dr BBQ!! LOVED IT!! I certainly hope he reopens elsewhere. We will definitely be there.

  7. Avatar

    Pernicious LLC

    December 31, 2022at12:38 pm

    Yeah that’s some bull. We definitely don’t need another overpriced hotel or highrise. Dr BBQ wasn’t even good to begin with but regardless now another eyesore will be built there.

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    Daniel Mayer

    December 31, 2022at3:24 pm

    As somebody that’s lived in this city for over 37 years nothing is the same anymore this place only cares about a dollar and how to flip some property because everyone wants to be a quick millionaire without putting any actual work in they’ll throw up another garbage pop up apartment building charge people $1,900 a month for 550 sqft² and they’ll just continue going farther east until the consume everything to 28th Street shame that money is destroying this beautiful location

  9. Avatar

    Steve Allen

    December 31, 2022at5:21 pm

    This goes out to all the commenters or most of them complaining how expensive everything is. Welcome to capitalism in the USA my friends, that’s why I’m a socialist it is ready or not….GET OFF MY LAWN!

  10. Avatar

    Shirley Hayes

    December 31, 2022at9:49 pm

    I love their burnt ends , pastrami and chicken and other items. I hope they remain in St Pete.

  11. Avatar

    Oren Ayalon

    January 3, 2023at4:42 pm

    The question is what else will be torn down? The monopolization of st Pete is in full throttle as few companies take complete control. “Local” will be a thing of the past

  12. Avatar


    January 5, 2023at11:52 am

    Terrible BBQ….

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