R.U.B. BBQ Pub (R.U.B. stands, a tad redundantly, for Real Urban Barbecue) is a recently conceived venture by the Yono clan. Headed by Sam Yono, the Chaldean family owns a number of businesses around Detroit, including hotels, grocery stores, and funeral homes. Three years ago, they decided to go full tilt boogie into the barbecue business. This is their third R.U.B., following pubs near Comerica Park and in Warren, and manager Omar Mitchell says they might eventually franchise the operation.
Mitchell describes himself as "kind of an adopted son to the Yono family--they took me in when I started working at their Ramada Inn in Southfield when I was about sixteen. I've known them for over twenty years now." He's been sent to Ann Arbor to see if he can make this location, at the corner of Packard and State, cook. He says he's well aware that the location seems to have some kind of curse on it, but R.U.B. has signed a five-year lease and plans to stay.
Though Mitchell is a trained chef (Johnson and Wales culinary school in Rhode Island), he credits Sam Yono's son Randy for R.U.B.'s success so far. "He did all the research on recipes and developed the menu. We also have a great corporate chef, Shawn Thomas." Raised in Alabama, Thomas, forty, grew up cooking barbecue and further honed his skills at Schoolcraft College.