Springfield barbecue restaurant to open first franchise location

Credit: Facebook Photo

Credit: Facebook Photo

Rudy’s Smokehouse, a barbecue restaurant that has been in Springfield for nearly two decades, is opening its first franchise location in Columbus.

“We’re very excited and blessed to grow such a fun and authentic BBQ brand in the Columbus area and look forward to serving the community,” said Springfield native Kristopher Rowland, who will be the first franchisee of Rudy’s Smokehouse. “Our business is providing quality, slow smoked meats with made from scratch sides that has passion built into every recipe that you can taste.”

Credit: Submitted Photo

Credit: Submitted Photo

The second Rudy’s location, expected to open within the next week, will be located north of downtown Columbus inside a food hall at 1282 Essex Ave. The restaurant will operate as a ghost kitchen, with hopes to open an additional brick-and-mortar in the next year, Kristopher explained.

“We’re very, very excited that this is our first opportunity to brand Rudy’s,” said Rudy Mosketti, founder of Rudy’s Smokehouse. “It’s a common secret that once you get one or two then the street presence realizes you’re for real. This is an exciting time for us. Columbus is a great market.”

In March 2020, Bill Fischer, co-owner of Rudy’s Smokehouse, told this news outlet that he and Mosketti would love for someone to franchise the restaurant because a franchise could “put a store up faster than we could.”

Kristopher and his wife, Tabatha, answered those wishes.

“It’s been my husband’s dream to bring Rudy’s to a larger scale,” Tabatha said. “He was the first employee (at) the first location and has helped build the brand.”

Kristopher explained he started working for Mosketti as a bus boy when he owned Perkins Family Restaurant on East Main Street in Springfield. He said he worked his way up to manager before becoming instrumental in Rudy’s Smokehouse’s growth.

“I developed a love for barbecue, for smoking meats, and over the years it stuck with me and grew,” Kristopher said.

The Columbus location will feature several new menu items including a smokehouse queso and chips, flatbread pizza, tacos and burritos, Kristopher explained. He said customers will be able to get their favorite smokehouse meats in a new style.

Credit: Facebook Photo

Credit: Facebook Photo

Since opening in 2005, Rudy’s Smokehouse has been a staple in the Springfield community and beyond. Mosketti said much of their repeat business comes from truck drivers and travelers off of the interstate.

“Holding every made from scratch recipe to the highest standard of consistency and integrity married with top quality ingredients and creating a positive work environment for your employees is why Rudy’s has thrived,” Mosketti said.

“We can’t wait to bring something new to the Columbus area and hope to have a dine-in restaurant soon after so that warm Rudy’s welcome and fun family dining atmosphere can be felt as well,” added Tabatha.

Rudy’s Smokehouse, located at 2222 S Limestone St. in Springfield, smokes its meats “low and slow” in Old Hickory Pit Smokers and has a variety of homemade side dishes.

Ordering from the Columbus location will be available via ezCater, DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats or by calling 614-981-5579.

For more information about the new location, visit the restaurant’s Facebook page or www.rudyssmokehouse.com.

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