We have put together a brief history as we know it...
As far as we can tell the Babalu has been serving guests since 1946, when it was built as a "drive up" food stand. Keep in mind that in 1946 4th Street was an unpaved two lane road and not much was out this far north of St. Pete. Later in that same year, a bar was added to the front of the building, and in 1947 a screened porch was built so customers could get out of their cars and eat here. Business must have been good, as in 1952 another addition came shortly after and the building became a pizzeria. The main dining room as we know it was built in 1955.
We can't be sure of all the details between then and now. The current owner, Chip, played pool here in the 1970's, so we know it was a pool hall and bar with light food. Just like back in those early days the Babalu continues to grow and develop to serve the needs of our very special guests. Chip, the current owner since 1986 has expanded the menu from a few items to now over 100 menu items and from beer and wine to a full liquor bar.
Quality is always key here and therefore, we make most all items in our own kitchen; chili, soups, meatloaf, dressings, and smoked fish spread to name a few. We don't just serve food we strive to serve the best, that's why you'll find jumbo fresh chicken wings, burgers from ground chuck, #1 Caribbean shrimp, and ribs right from our own smoker. Quality fresh baked Cuban bread from Ybor City. Our homemade desserts are 2nd generation and so are some of our servers.
We want every one of our guests to have great food, good service, and truly make themselves at home here. Thanks to each and every one of you for coming by and please enjoy.
9:00am -12:00 am