Grand Circus Park’s R.U.B. BBQ Pub is in the midst of a big shakeup. The restaurant located just blocks from Comerica Park is expected to relaunch soon as Brass Rail Pizza Bar —
possibly on Tigers Opening Day. The name is an homage to a former Detroit bar that used to have a location on W. Adams.
The front windows at R.U.B. BBQ are currently obscured by paper and a tipster notes that signage was recently lit at the back of the restaurant in view of Woodward Avenue. Brass Rail appears to be operated by the same owner as R.U.B. BBQ, Dominic Yono, and according to recent postings the restaurant is hiring. A menu featured on the Brass Rail’s newly unveiled website features a mixture of sliders, sandwiches, pastas, and salads, alongside around 10 pizzas.
R.U.B. BBQ, which opened in 2010, has attempted revamps before. In 2015, the restaurant announced that was rebranding as a bike-friendly bar called Cykel, but the project never came to fruition. The owners also briefly operated a restaurant next door called TAQO, but that shuttered last year and was replaced by Norte Modern Mexican.
Eater has reached out for more details on Brass Rail Pizza Bar. Stay tuned for updates.
Update, 3/30, 6:45 p.m.: Reached by Eater, Brass Rail general manager Jesse Francisco confirms that the restaurant will debut next week.
“We came off a very successful 2016 sales-wise,” Francisco says of R.U.B. However, management saw an opportunity to expand into the relatively underdeveloped downtown pizza market. “This is a 100 percent rebrand,” he says. “Being where we’re located, with the volume that we do, it’s just a better way to get our product to the most people.”
In addition to 52 tap handles, Francisco and chef DJ Dorsten have been working on developing Brass Rail’s own signature style of pizza. “It’s a thinner crisp crust, but it still has that soft feel to it,” he says. In addition to build-your-own pies customers can look forward to signature recipes like the Wakey Wakey, a breakfast-style pizza featuring sunny side up eggs, home fries, bacon, and black angus strip steak. Everything from the sausage to the meatballs are made in-house, Francisco adds.
Brass Rail is scheduled to open on Monday, April 3, ahead of Opening Day.
• Brass Rail Pizza Bar Facebook [Official]
• Brass Rail Pizza Bar Website [Official]
• All R.U.B. BBQ Pub Coverage [ED]