We have Rudy's to the north and Rudy's to the, well, the northeast. But now we'll get Rudy's in the west: Rudy's Country Store and BBQ, the Texas barbecue restaurant chain, is opening its first branch in Fort Worth, in a new building off I-35 and Western Center Boulevard, six miles north of downtown.
According to Lauren and Robert Wolf, who own the Rudy's franchise for North Texas, the restaurant will open this fall. "We are hopeful it will be open by late September or early October," Lauren says.
Rudy's has been serving Texas barbecue in the southwest since 1989. Its pits are 100 percent wood-fired with oak. The meat cooks with a dry spice and is served with Rudy's famous "sause." There are more than a dozen Rudy's up and down I-35 between Dallas and San Antonio, plus Houston, El Paso and West Texas, along with branches in Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona.
"We always do our research before we pick our location, and it takes us a long time to decide," Lauren says. "We do have one branch in Tarrant County in Arlington, but we didn't have one in Fort Worth. We're real excited to get into Fort Worth."
Fort Worth has no shortage of barbecue: from old-timers like Angelo's, Cousins and Railhead, to newer favorites such as Billy's Oak Acres and Heim Barbecue. But the area Rudy's has selected is uncontested; the closest competition is Cooper's in the Stockyards.
In addition to brisket (in both moist and lean versions), ribs and sausage, Rudy's has turkey, chicken, pork loin and pulled pork. It also does good breakfast tacos, and is open on Sundays.
Rudy’s started out as a meat market with a gas station in front, and has kept that setup as it expands, which limits its location choices to a degree.
"We do need a certain amount of space," Lauren says. "I would like a location in Dallas, if only for my own selfish needs, since I live in Dallas. We've got to find right spot, but we'll keep looking."