Food industry types ask you to consider core mission and values when selecting a restaurant name. Online name generators turn those keywords into something lasting and memorable so it is on the tip of a hungry tongue.
Interestingly, Rudy’s in Sudbury has stuck to its single one-word name for 54 years.
Rudy was the first owner in 1967. After a decade, he turned the keys over to Hubert Ethier of the Flour Mill. Ethier thought about rebranding to “Hubie’s,” but opted to stay the course.
In 2019, after Hubie’s passing, his widow sold the diner to Kevin Cirulus. Cirulus was enjoying a successful run with his chip stand, The Campsite on Barrydowne Road, and wanted more.
“I saw Rudy’s was for sale,” he said. “That was always the dream. I always wanted to run a sandwich shop.”
Cirulus, an engineer by trade, has delivered with the best of both worlds. The chip stand is located behind the restaurant, which has allowed people to still eat on-site at picnic tables during the COVID-19 shutdowns.
In its heyday, the weekend brunches used to welcome upwards of 40 guests at a time and was crowded by today’s pandemic standards. Rudy’s was known for its breakfast and lunch however, Cirulus has his sights set on making Rudy’s a dinner destination, too.
Thanks to the pandemic, the infamous all-you-can-eat fish Fridays has shifted to take out with about 40 Alaskan pollock dinners being prepped each week.
Cirulus still pays homage to the owners of the past. The signature Hubi and the Super Hubi are named after the second owner’s bacon burgers, served with the works (if you like) and a side of fries. The butcher remains nearby at B & D Meats and the potatoes are still trucked in from Beaulieu Farms, just like yesteryear's. Recently, Cirulus added locally sourced sausages to the menu from Giacomo's on Lorne Street.
Next to the name, location is everything.
Rudy’s is situated on Lasalle Boulevard across from the city’s largest cemetery, which brings in lots of visitors along with the nearby New Sudbury neighbourhoods.
It’s also a historic spot as it is located under the roadway of Lasalle Boulevard after decades of grading and repaving.
One early photo on the dining room wall shows Rudy’s when it was an ice cream shop and level to the highway. Merla-Mae’s Ice Cream was a popular spot in the early 50s for anyone heading to the drive-in movie theatre up the street.
Just like the past, the soups are worthy of a taste test. Made from scratch, the Italian Wedding Soup features just the right amount of bow ties and broth. The pea soup is delicious when paired with a pastrami on rye, featuring locally sourced bread from Golden Grain Bakery.
There are more homemade soups on the menu along with the chip stand chili and pogos hand-dipped in batter at time of order. Rudy’s is indeed a fine and fresh blend of old meets new.
You can also follow Rudy’s Restaurant on its Facebook page for menus, features and hours.
Anastasia Rioux is Sudbury.com’s new food writer. She is a freelance writer in Greater Sudbury. Let’s Eat is made possible by our Community Leaders Program.