Royal Rib House: Barbecue is a family legacy in Bed-Stuy
NEW YORK - At Royal Rib House in Bed-Stuy, preparing a meal takes time.
"We're not a fast-food place," owner Jason Barnett said. "People sometimes have to wait."
But for him, it's a vital part of the experience.
"When you get the feedback and the response from the community about how good your food is, you stick with it. You don't cut the corners. You just do it the way you know it," he said.
At Royal Rib, everything from the Carolina-style pulled pork to the potato salad is made from scratch. Ribs are dry rub marinated overnight then slow-spun on a rotisserie.
For Jason, it's no mystery how newcomers become regulars.
"Give me one shot, and you're mine forever," he said.
Jason's grandfather Calvin Grier started Royal Rib House half a century ago. Having moved to New York from the Carolinas, it was his dream to open a restaurant serving Southern classics.
"He came up with his own barbecue sauce, and it's the sauce that we sell to this day," Jason said.
The business was passed down to Jason's parents before he inherited it.
"We've been here for generations, and most of my clients and my following are people that were raised here or came here as kids," he said. "I have a lot of people in my life that have come and passed through this business, and it's just a great thing. It's a great part of Brooklyn."
But keeping the business running hasn't always been easy. After the original location closed, Jason struggled for two years to find a new lease.
"It happened all through COVID, and that made it a pretty challenging experience," he said.
The closure coincided with his divorce and the loss of his beloved dog, a painful piling on through which he resolved to maintain hope.
"Overall, I was working on this project. And it happened, and I feel so blessed," he said.
Just a few blocks from where it all began, lines once again form for barbecue.
"My favorite part is, I guess, just lifting up my gate and turning on my rotisserie, and the ribs and the chicken get to spinning," he said.
For Jason, the aromas of fresh food are rejuvenating.
"It's a good feeling. It's reassuring that you're alive, and you're doing your thing and doing what you love," he said.
Royal Rib House
256 Malcolm X Blvd
Brooklyn, NY 11233
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