Phoenix, AZ

Popular Phoenix Restaurant Coming to Tucson

Greyson F

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Grab yourself some BBQ.Katerina Jerabkova/Unsplash

Sometimes there’s just nothing like the taste of BBQ. Whether you’re a dry-rub fan or you love to experiment with different sauces, there’s a BBQ out there for everyone. Problem is, sometimes you have to drive great lengths in order to grab your favorites. Thankfully, all of that is about to get a little easier for you, as a popular Phoenix metro BBQ restaurant is making the move south to Tucson. 

Rudy’s Real Texas Bar-B-Q has three locations currently running in Gilbert, Chandler, and Tolleson, making it easy enough for metro Phoenix residents to enjoy the freshly made BBQ, but now, Tucson residents won’t have to make the drive north to do the same. The Tucson location, which is expected to open at the beginning of 2022, will be located on Tucson’s south side at 2100 E. Ajo Way. 

The restaurant is not a small one. If you’ve been to one of the Phoenix-area locations you know it is on the larger side when it comes to restaurants. In fact, Rudy’s is expected to hire around 90 or so new employees in Tucson (if you’re looking for work, you are free to apply online through Rudy’s website). 

The restaurant itself has its origins in Texas, as a family opened up a small gas station and grocery store back in the late 1800s. It remained this way for nearly 100 years until Bar-B-Q was added in the late 1980s. The food was specially made and cooked over an oak-burning fire. The pit crew liked oak over other woods (including local favorite mesquite) because it was a slower burning wood, which does drag out the cooking time but can infuse the meat with a robust flavor. 

Every Rudy’s restaurant is designed to look like a restaurant-meets-gas station, both inside and out, in order to pay homage to the original Rudy’s. There’s even a small “country store” inside, to give you a small feel of what it would have been like to pull up to the gas station 100 years ago. 

Every location is a bit different when it comes to the menu. What you find here in Arizona will be a little different from what you find in Texas (there are Rudy’s locations throughout the Southwest, plus Oklahoma, and one in both Colorado and Florida). The menu will likely be very similar to the metro Phoenix locations, so taking a look at their menu will help shed light on what you can expect. 

There are several kinds of meats available, including two types of brisket (a wet and a dry), turkey, prime rib, pork loin, spicy pork chop, and pork spare ribs. Plus baby back ribs, chicken, pulled pork, and a number of sauces. 

Hungry for a sandwich instead? You can try the pulled pork, pork loin, turkey, brisket, sausage, or a handful of other sandwiches on the menu. There is even an extensive breakfast menu with over a dozen breakfast tacos. And, of course, one of the best ways to judge a BBQ restaurant is through the sides. You can expect a number of sides at Rudy’s when it opens in Tucson, including jumbo smoked potato, potato salad, three-bean salad, Rudy’s beans, coleslaw, corn on the cob, and others. 

In order to stay on top of the exact opening dates for the new Rudy’s, make sure to follow the restaurant on Facebook. And, if you ever find yourself up north, stop on by one of the current locations and give the restaurant a try (you can even order yourself or a friend a gift card to the new location so you're ready to go when it opens up). 

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