My family and I would like to thank you for having a meal with us today.As you look around the dinning room,our history surrounds you.My father started Tom’s in Boca Raton in 1977 .We have been cooking great BBQ dinners and soul food for over 40 years.Come in today and treat yourself to some of of our southern cooked dishes.All are food is made with love and recipes from over 40 years of making some of the best BBQ in West Palm Beach .
Belinda Wright and her staff wear shirts that call the restaurant “unsinkable.” A restored grill once used by her late father sits out back. A few weeks ago, workers put finishing touches on a new sign as past customers drove up, one in a Bentley, to ask if Tom’s Place had indeed returned.
A South Florida barbecue comeback has quietly begun. Tom’s Place, a legendary, family-run restaurant known for its ribs, chicken, sauce and sides during its Boca Raton heyday in the 1970s and 1980s, was reborn in August at the Boynton Beach Mall.
My vision and purpose is to honor my parents and keep their legacy alive,” says Belinda Wright, 58, daughter of Tom and Helen Wright, the restaurant’s late founders. “I want my dad to be proud of what we’ve done and what I’ve become.”
The new 200-seat restaurant has recently come to life. But Belinda says hundreds turned out on opening weekend and a steady stream has come to check out the eatery, a site that was formerly Buca di Beppo.
A plate of chicken and ribs with sides of beans, mac-and-cheese, cornbread muffins, and collard greens at Tom’s Place BBQ in the Boynton Beach Mall. (Amy Beth Bennett / South Florida Sun Sentinel)
The restaurant, at 801 N. Congress Ave., features the same Southern soul food that her parents served at the original Tom’s Place, including ribs, fried catfish, pork chops, collard greens and black-eye peas. And the same barbecue sauce that once was bottled and sold at local supermarkets. Prices are reasonable to moderate, with sandwiches and platters ranging $6-$22. A $10 rib special (a half-pound with two sides) is available on Saturdays and Sundays. The new Tom’s Place is filled with memorabilia and autographed photos from past customers, including fight promoter Don King and football announcer John Madden.