Texas Hill Country barbecue is coming to Santa Fe.

Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q, a chain restaurant that has been wildly successful in Albuquerque, begins construction around Aug. 1 at Cerrillos Road and Jaguar Drive.

Savvy BBQ fans in Santa Fe already know about Rudy’s from the Lakeway, Texas-based chain’s two Albuquerque locations.

Those fans led Rudy’s to commit to Santa Fe’s south side, said Randy Kenna, Rudy’s area director for New Mexico locations.

“They buy food [in Albuquerque] and take it home,” Kenna said. “We bring year-end banquets to Santa Fe school sports teams.”

Kenna expects the 8,300-square-foot location with total capacity of 310 people (indoors capacity 232) to open in spring 2022. There will be 6-foot-long and 8-foot-long tables.

“There will be communal dining, which is how it’s set up in Hill Country,” he said.

The heart of Texas barbecue is in the Hill Country region west of Austin and north of San Antonio, which is where many German settlers to Texas brought their smoking process, he said. Rudy’s headquarters is west of Austin, and the original Rudy’s location, launched in 1989, is in Leon Springs, at the northwest edge of San Antonio.

Rudy’ specializes in dry rub with sauces on the tables, and Kenna said the restaurant also is known for its ranch style beans and sweet cream corn.

“My bias, being a New Mexican, is the green chile stew,” he said.

Rudy’s has 47 locations, with just 10 outside of Texas. The restaurant came to New Mexico in 1994 and is now in Oklahoma, Arizona and Colorado, with a Florida outlet coming soon.

(1) comment

Michelle Rudy


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