Ruby’s BBQ, the campus barbecue joint (not to be confused with Austin mini-barbecue chain Rudy’s Bar-B-Q) on West 29th Street, is closing, as reported by Chronicle. A Ruby’s staffer confirmed the impending shutter, though there is no exact last date as of yet. She said it might be on Tuesday, February 20, but that’s not set in stone.
Update, February 14: Ruby’s last day will be on Saturday, February 17.
Along with the usual barbecue staples of brisket, ribs, smoked chicken, and turkey, Ruby’s also emphasized Cajun cuisine like gumbo, crawfish etouffee, and all sorts of jambalaya, along with ham, tacos, chili, and salads. Everything at the nearly-30-year-old restaurant was served counter-service-style at affordable prices.
Chronicle reported that owner Pat Mares decided to close the restaurant because the “Austin scene and market has changed significantly,” which meant it was “difficult to do business as a small operator” with the growing restaurant scene, higher cost of operating, and lack of staff.
Mares teased that whatever taking over Ruby’s location on West 29th Street is going to be a new restaurant.
Mares opened Ruby’s BBQ in 1988, among the tail-end of the older generation of Austin-area barbecue joints, like Iron Works BBQ and Salt Lick.