Thursday, October 24, 2019

Rudy's Barbecue on Harvey Road

Always a popular choice, even on Sunday morning. (Picture by author, October 2019)

Rudy's Barbecue has long been a favorite restaurant of many, from the fatty brisket to its long picnic-style tables with red and white tablecloths and rolls of paper towels. While it has been here a good part of my childhood and all of my adult life, it was not always here. The restaurant at 504 Harvey wasn't even always Rudy's, nor was it even in the same building, it did replace a previous building on the site.

Demolished buildings are often difficult to find information for but in 1982 a plat was filed for "The Christmas Store". Apparently, the full name of the store was called "Cashion Cane: The Christmas Store" but "Christmas Store" is what shows up in my listings. There was talk on TexAgs that the store moved to University Drive sometime later, and indeed, there was "Cashion-Cane" at 404 University Drive East in 1989.

The lettering glows red at night. (Picture by author, October 2019)

Seems that the Christmas Store was originally on a smaller lot until a few years later when it expanded to the west, taking over an adjacent lot that had "Spin 'N Grocery". By 1989, however, 504 Harvey was the home of Sneakers, a bar and nightclub with a sand volleyball court.

By 1998, Sneakers was closed and planning for a new restaurant began. Opening in 2000, Rudy's Country Store and Bar-B-Q replaced the Sneakers building and parking lot. Due to its origins, it often has a small convenience store section and I seem to remember there being a small counter to that effect inside the restaurant, but I could be wrong (even if it existed, it was very small). In the case of College Station's location, Country Store was never even on the signage, as unlike other Rudy's, it lacked a gas station.

UPDATE 02-14-2024: Changed opening date from "sometime around 2001" to "2000".