Oyster restaurant to transform into ‘Murph’s BBQ’ at ever-changing Sparkman Wharf

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – One of Sparkman Wharf’s “container restaurants” is getting a new look, transforming into what will become delicious BBQ.

Boat Run Oyster Company will transition into Murph’s BBQ, both owned and operated by SaltBlock Hospitality. The new restaurant will open for lunch service at noon on Jan. 19.

The new location will offer quite a different menu, according to co-founder Scott Roberts who calls his restaurant: “simple, good quality, no-frills barbeque.”

“We are going to be slow-smoking quality meats, pulled pork, Texas-style brisket, chopped chicken, on some very nice, custom-made smokers that we have and serving them alongside simple sides, so classic mac-and-cheese, slaws, baked beans, everything scratch-made in house,” he said.

Roberts said the name of the new concept has sentimental value for him. The co-founders wanted to embrace the spirit of being dog-friendly at Sparkman Wharf.

“One thing that’s really cool and it’s actually our namesake, is Murph’s is named after a very special pup. Actually, one of my childhood dogs, and he was kind of a legend,” Roberts said.

The location will be offering dog treats made from scratch

Though the container space is changing concepts, from shucking oysters to smoking BBQ, co-founder Ryan Conigliaro explained no employees will be out of work are ready to face the new transition.

“When re-launching this new concept, our team is very talented, they’ve kind of been cross-trained already in different facets of what we do at Saltblock Hospitality,” Conigliaro said. “Our team has really stuck [with] us with everything that’s currently been going on this year and we certainly enjoy all of our team members. They’re excited about it, they have great energy.”

Fans of Boat Run Oyster Company don’t have to fret about missing its oysters, according to Conigliaro, it will live on through the catering and events side of SaltBlock’s company.

“You can have our oyster carts available at events, whether that be at your wedding or a private event, or we have different pop-ups at restaurants all around the community,” he said.

He teased there “may be some announcements in the future.”

Boat Run Oyster Company was a founding container restaurant when Sparkman Wharf opened to the public in 2018.

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