Lakeway, Texas-based Ford Restaurant Group is scheduled to begin construction on a 7,000-square-foot grocery store and barbecue restaurant at the southeast corner of 31st Street and Colorado Highway 24.
Rudy’s Country Store and BBQ will employ up to 80 people and seat 250, with seating available for 60 more on an outdoor patio. The stores are considered to be a one-stop gas station, convenience store and restaurant.
The store/restaurant will include gasoline pumps and three oak-fired pit barbecues, each capable of cooking 400 pounds of meat each.
There are 17 Rudy’s restaurants in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. This will be the first one in Colorado.
“We have been working on this project for over three years,” said Vice President Pete Bassett. “The property had to be rezoned and we had to get a developmental plan through the city. It was just a long process of dotting all the “I”s and crossing the “T”s, so we’re excited to finally get the paperwork behind us and are ready to start turning some dirt and cooking some barbecue.”
Springs-based Christofferson Commercial Builders, which has built all but three of the Rudy’s locations, will construct the local restaurant and retail store.
Bassett said the company is shooting for a late spring/early summer opening and that earth moving on the site has yet to begin.
Rudy’s was founded in 1989 by Phil Romano, the founder of Fudruckers and Macaroni Grill. Ford Restaurant Group started as a Rudy’s franchisee during 1994, purchased Rudy’s during 1996 and open its first company property in New Braunfels, Texas during 1996.
“Colorado Springs is a beautiful city and has a diverse business climate,” Bassett said. “We have seen a lot of interest from Colorado Springs residents through our Web site, and Christofferson was instrumental in pointing out the site to us.”