Tucson, AZ

Texas BBQ Restaurant Opening in Town

Greyson F

Enjoy some mouthwatering BBQ.Luis Santoyo/Unsplash

If there’s one food style that has long gone well with the warm weather of summer, it’s BBQ. Around greater Tucson, there are several fantastic destinations to dine in or carry out BBQ, and now, there is about to be another, coming directly from the meat-loving state of Texas. 

Rudy’s BBQ first made its Arizona appearance not long ago, opening three locations around metro Phoenix (in Gilbert, Chandler, and Goodyear). However, the coming Tucson location will be its first in the Old Pueblo. Located at 2130 East Ajo Way, there is no official opening date yet, but management currently expects it to be sometime before the end of June. 

Rudy’s has had a rather long and eventful history in Texas. Back in the 1800s, the small community of Leon Springs was formed (just a short trip north of San Antonio). Rudolph Aue, the son of the town’s founder, opened up a one-stop grocery store, garage, and gas station. Known as Rudy’s Country Store, the site remained as-is until almost 100 years later, when the County Store began serving BBQ (in 1989). Many of the same food offerings and recipes served over 30 years ago when the Country Store started selling BBQ remains on the recipe today. 

Guests won’t find a gas station or garage at new Rudy locations, but every construction is designed as a throwback to where the shop came from, as it very much does look like an oversized “Country Store” one might find driving through small towns throughout Texas and the American Southwest. 

All of the meat is cooked over an oak wood fire, which is desired thanks to the slow-burning nature of the wood (it is a slower burning wood than mesquite and similar woods that others will use in their BBQ pits). Every location has a slightly different menu based on regional ingredients, but all of the staple items served around the country will be at the Tucson location. This includes the assortment of meats, like brisket, moist brisket, spicy chop, BBQ ribs, pork ribs and pork loin, pulled pork, half chicken, turkey breast, prime rib, sausage links, and jalapeno sausage links. Sandwiches include turkey, sausage, pork loin, and brisket (plus several others). There are also all kinds of sides, breakfast tacos, and deserts. 

Hours of operation have not yet been announced, but every metro Phoenix location runs from 6 AM until 9 PM Sunday through Thursday, and then 6 AM until 9:30 PM on Friday and Saturday, so expect something similar at the East Ajo Tucson location. 

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