Jonathan Vilma on New Brother Jimmy's Location: "I Felt Like Miami Needed Something Like This"

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Carolina del Busto
There are plenty of South Florida food staples (exhibit A: our fabulous cafecito; exhibit B: our unique uses of the plantain), but classic Southern barbecue is not necessarily one of them.

With the newest location of Brother Jimmy's BBQ, owner and NFL star Jonathan Vilma hopes that will soon change. Born and raised in Coral Gables, Vilma knows firsthand the types of food found in Miami, which is what led him to open the first Brother Jimmy's BBQ two years ago.

See also: Uncle Tom's Barbecue to Reopen in May: Original Menu Items, Secret Sauce Are Back

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Carolina del Busto
Vilma was introduced to Brother Jimmy's when he was playing for the Jets and living in New York. "I needed a place where I could relax and watch the games in the off-season," he says, adding how a friend recommended the New York City restaurant, which turned into an ideal spot for him.

Brother Jimmy's North Carolina slow-smoked barbecue and its country-style atmosphere really impressed Vilma, who decided to add one in South Florida.

"I felt like Miami needed something like [Brother Jimmy's], so I bought the franchise rights for South Florida and made it a reality."

The first Brother Jimmy's opened in Mary Brickell Village in 2012, but the chain has been thriving for more than two decades. It boasts nine locations -- five in Manhattan; one in New Brunswick, New Jersey; one in San Juan, Puerto Rico; and now two in Miami -- making the Magic City pretty special with a pair of outposts.

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Carolina del Busto
Big ol' plate of meat.
"I knew I wanted to expand when I saw the turnout last year during all the different sporting events," Vilma explains. "We were slammed!"

Brother Jimmy's was apparently "the spot," Vilma says, to watch the Heat playoffs, University of Miami games, and other local matchups. "I knew that if I kept the quality of the food and service at premium, the franchise would work throughout Miami and South Florida."

Location Info

Brother Jimmy's BBQ

5701 Sunset Drive, South Miami, FL

Category: Restaurant


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16 comments
robert.n.nielsen
robert.n.nielsen topcommenter

Living in Brickell BJ's is a welcome laid back relief from all of the other venues in the area which filled with pretentious yuppie scumbags.

Luis F Lorie
Luis F Lorie

I was excited for this when i heard it finally opened, won't be going back though. I was just there yesterday for the Heat game. The food and service just plain sucks. We left at halftime and went to Sunset Tavern. Better service, environment, and actual drink specials during games.

Abel Alexander
Abel Alexander

It's hard to call overpriced because the prices are technically reasonable... but they are already producing food so bad it's still not worth the number on the menu. If you want cheap barbecue food, just go down US1 to Shorty's. Neither of them are perfect but at least Shorty's tastes like something.

Carlos Cnotez Rodriguez
Carlos Cnotez Rodriguez

Jimmys is great bbq but nothing beats the down south q spots in goulds! Lol and my mans harvey

Amanda Drewniak
Amanda Drewniak

This place is expensive and awful! Better off at Sparky's BBQ

Cellie Mayol
Cellie Mayol

i think the bbq is fantastic. it's carolina based. their marble brisket and pulled pork are amazing.

Cellie Mayol
Cellie Mayol

there is one in brickell one in south miami and another opening at dolphin. it's great southern bbq.

Carlos A Cortez
Carlos A Cortez

Their opening one in dolphin mall also... If u want good BBQ go to pride & joy by north Miami ave

Tony Prieto
Tony Prieto

Miami doesn't have a great BBQ place. As south as Miami is, this isn't the South.

Art Kunhardt
Art Kunhardt

but the bbq isn't good. its more of a watering hole. that place just doesn't do it for me. better places to get bbq in miami.

Ana Maria Valdes
Ana Maria Valdes

Love the one in Brickell now I have to try the one in Sunset place

franky
franky

that food is awful.  no effort.

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