Part of the challenge that comes with a change of restaurant ownership is the selection of the establishment’s new and more personalized name.
In this case, Lisette Lenninger purchased Jonnie’s Restaurant on Jan. 1, 2002, and enlisted the Webster Dictionary to help her with the name search. And there it was: “Ruddy… to have the color red.”
“I just shortened it to Rudy’s,” laughed the red-haired proprietor. “It was perfect.”
Rudy’s first opened in the 1960s under the name of “Benoits’ Drive-In” and has retained the hometown ambiance and menu selections that keep the “regulars” coming back again and again. Lenninger actually started working at Jonnies’ as a dishwasher when she was a teenager and has come to consider the staff and customers as her second family.
“We’ve kept pretty much the same staff for the past 10 years; that’s probably why we work so well together, and the customers appreciate that, too.”
For years Rudy’s has boasted the broasted, so, as much as we were tempted by the more out-of-the-box items like gizzards or the tempting High Noon Specials, our order for the evening centered around the broasted chicken and simple sides. And to our delight, the lightly-breaded chicken was broasted to perfection and served with a nice crisp slaw. The cherry on top of this meal was the rich soft serve vanilla ice cream that topped the warm slice of berry pie — delicious, and something to keep in mind for the summer months when a root beer float or sundae is in high demand.Rudy’s Restaurant
419 S. John Wayne Drive
Mon. – Tues.: 6 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Wednesday: 6 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Thursday: 6 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Fri. – Sat.: 6 a.m. – 9 p.m.