New barbecue restaurant at 31st and Highway 24 to open June 2

       The new Rudy's Country Store and Bar-B-Q is set to open Wednesday, June 2.

Standing in the brand-new kitchen of the 31st Street restaurant, Rudy's management staff are (from left) Kelsey Edwards, Glen Loth, Coby Chilcoat, Shea Matoska and Brittney Loth. All but Loth, the manager, are assistant managers.
Westside Pioneer photo

       Part of a 27-site corporate chain that started in Texas more than 20 years ago, the restaurant at 315 S. 31st St. will be the first Rudy's in Colorado. All the rest are in Texas, except for two in New Mexico and one in Oklahoma. “We're excited to hit a new market,” said manager Glen Loth, who moved to Colorado Springs from Texas with his wife Brittney (also one of his assistant managers). “Everyone here's been really friendly.”
       With capacity for 299 diners, the restaurant will be unique among Rudy's locales in offering an uncovered outdoor seating area with a fireplace, according to Loth, as well as garage doors between the indoor and outdoor areas that can be raised on nice days.
       The business will be open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The store will sell gift items, and there will also be self-service gas pumps.
       Specializing in barbecue meals, Rudy's smokes all its meats, cooking in oak-fired ovens.
       The food is served buffet-style, with people allowed to watch their food as it's being made and request brisket cuts, Loth explained.
       Also available are catering services and the use of the restaurant's “party room,” he said.
       The business will have a total of about 90 employees (about 25 percent full-time). Job applications are still being taken. Workers can be as young as 16.
       With its location on a previously vacant 2.7-acre site off 31st Street and Ore Mill Road next to Highway 24, the Rudy's development over the past few months has provided an ever-changing spectacle to passersby. The work has included significant earth-moving, building construction, lot paving, creation of a retaining wall, extension of the highway's westbound left-turn lane (because of expected traffic to the restaurant), landscape planting, gas pump installation, curb cuts onto 31st and Ore Mill, and (scheduled May 27) placement of a tall pole sign to advertise the business to highway motorists.
       One of the reasons for choosing Colorado Springs for the first Colorado Rudy's was the nearby presence of Fort Carson, which includes numerous Texans. “This area has a lot more Texas transplants than I thought,” Loth said, but added his hope that local Coloradans will soon become part of the customer mix.

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