R.U.B. BBQ didn’t last long at the corner of Packard and State–it opened in 2013 and closed in May. The success of Slows BBQ in Detroit has invited competition, and the Yono family, which owns hotels and restaurants in the Detroit area, opened the first R.U.B. (“Real Urban BBQ”) in downtown Detroit in 2010 and then opened two more, in Warren and Ann Arbor. Where Slows combines authentic barbecue with a Southern-flavored laid-back cool, R.U.B.’s formula is barbecue in a sports bar atmosphere, and it didn’t seem to catch on. The Warren R.U.B. has also closed, and the Detroit News reported in February that the original Detroit location was about to become a restaurant called Cykel. “It’s something we talked about,” says Randy Yono, “but it never happened.” For now, the Detroit R.U.B. remains open. As for the Ann Arbor R.U.B., “the business has been sold,” though he declined to say to whom. “It’s not 100 percent certain, more like 90 percent.”
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