The Future 50
Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q
Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q is a mid-scale chain that specializes in Texas-style barbecue as well as Southern-style sides and desserts. Restaurants feature 100% oak-fired barbecue pits and use a proprietary blend of spices and rubs to create a distinct flavor and texture for barbecued meats. Originally conceived as a country general store, the chain also sells cases of soda and beer, pre-packaged sides and company merchandise such as bottled barbecue sauce. Philip Romano, creator of Fuddruckers and Romano’s Macaroni Grill, conceived the Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q concept based on an existing one-stop gas station, country store and garage located in Leon Springs, Texas. In 1989, barbecue was added to the mix and became the focal point of the country store. In 1996, Romano sold the rights to the Rudy’s concept to restaurant entrepreneur Lynn Ford and two franchisees, Blake Brown and Pete Bassett. Ford Restaurant Group was established in 1999 to oversee operations of the chain. Locations have spread to Colorado, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona.