View Full Version : Rub east meadow splits with NYC

12-11-2011, 09:09 PM

RUB BBQ in East Meadow splits with NYC original
Friday December 9, 2011 3:11 PM By Joan Reminick

Photo credit: Newsday Photo
The prestigious Manhattan RUB BBQ —* whose co-owner, Paul Kirk, has been dubbed the ”Kansas City Baron of BBQ” — is no longer affiliated with its four-month-old franchise in East Meadow. RUB co-owner Andrew Fischel said he terminated the relationship earlier this week, citing control issues.
The Long Island spot opened this past August in the revolving-door site that housed Long Fin, BeSi, Ruby's Famous BBQ and Louis & Marxx, all of which were under the aegis of the Singh Hospitality Group. That company is now sole owner of the East Meadow BBQ house, which got two stars in a Newsday review.
East Meadow manager and Singh employee Keith Langan said the restaurant is still up and running but has already changed some recipes. It seems RUB’s proprietary spices are no longer being used. Shortly, Langan said, its name will also change — probably to Kansas City Rub — once attorneys have signed off on the new appellation.
Pitmasters in East Meadow are Santiago Vargas and Brian Chichester, both of whom trained at RUB BBQ in Manhattan. Their repertoire still includes "burnt ends," $17.95 per pound, as well as baby back ribs, $25.95 full rack, $14.50 half rack, but the spicing is somewhat different. New on the menu: cedar plank salmon tacos, $14.95, and dry-rubbed skirt steak, $17.95.
The restaurant is at* 2367 Hempstead Tpke., East Meadow, 516-731-4227.

12-11-2011, 10:14 PM
Not surprising.. Those last two visits I had a few months ago were horrible service experiences.. Couldn't bring myself to go back..now I don't feel so bad.

"Kansas City Rub" with cedar planked salmon tacos... oh boy.

Bbq Bubba
12-12-2011, 06:51 AM

12-12-2011, 07:01 AM
Militant - just curious, we're you describing the original location, East Meadow, or both?

12-12-2011, 12:07 PM
Our families visit to Rub in East Meadow is the single worst experience we have ever had at any resturant. I wouldn't care if the food was free, we would never go back.

12-12-2011, 08:49 PM
Militant - just curious, we're you describing the original location, East Meadow, or both?

East Meadow only... last two visits were two of the worst restaurant outings I ever had at any restaurant.

12-13-2011, 10:36 AM
Sorry to hear the sad news,
another one bites the dust.

12-17-2011, 07:02 PM
I have been extremely tightlipped about the situation in East Meadow since I left that location, but I can't bite my tongue when I feel like there's some b.s. in the air.

The deal is this-- RUB's owner, Andrew, partnered with a supposedly reputable restaurant group from the area to open a franchise of RUB in East Meadow. Part of the agreement was that the operators needed to use Paul Kirk's recipes for proprietary rubs and sauces, as well as other recipes, techniques, procedures, etc....AND uphold the same quality standards that we adhere to in the flagship location.

Yes, Santiago and Brian were "trained" in NYC, but neither of them is a pitmaster, and it is an insult to anyone that has studied the craft and paid their dues to assign that title to either of them. Neither had cooked a lick of real bbq before I met them, they had no respect for the art and it was clear from working with them that neither had a clue how to run a kitchen.

After getting the restaurant open and helping to train staff, I agreed to stay on a few days a week and work for the franchise operators to help steer the ship. I was still working in manhattan, too. The group that I wound up working with, were the kind of dishonest, disreputable, slap-it-together or serve it out of a can, kind of people that make you feel sad for the restaurant industry. On multiple occasions there were no checks on payday (meanwhile I was laying out 100s of dollars to commute out there-- and they were making money), vendors were unpaid to the extent that it was hard to find people willing to do business with them, and everytime I would walk into the kitchen-- it was dirty, the food was not ready-- they couldn't keep a fire in the pit, or a prep list or a cook schedule and forget about their attitude on food safety-- how about clean rags and aprons, enough gloves or soap or hot water or paper towels....????

Andrew and I would try to fix things up, and get it running right, then, I would leave for a few days, go back to the other restaurant and when I came back the same corners were being cut, and new ones were being devised-- our signature paper boats stopped being used, they changed the menu, meats were pre-cut and portioned, etc....

They had no regard for the years of work that went into making our Manhattan location the restaurant that it is, no regard for the fact that they were treading on someone else's reputation, or for the time and effort that I and many other people put into teaching them the recipes and training them to run a fire in a pit, trim the food properly, or to cut and plate the food correctly.

Eventually, the frustration of banging our heads against the wall with these people was just too much-- they were degrading in quality and we felt it was in the communities best interest, and in the best interest of our good name to break away. This project started with the greatest of promise, it was utterly disappointing the way things went down.....But, I learned one thing: stay away from any Singh hospitality restaurants....your wallet, your stomach and your conscience will thank you. Trust me....

12-17-2011, 07:05 PM
One more thing-- I have said privately to everyone that had a bad meal there how sorry I am, but I would like to also say it publicly.

You have no idea how painful it was to get those emails and phone calls while I was back in the city-- especially when the food had been so good when I left a few days before.

I think the fact that so many of you came in multiple times in the short period when I was out there attests to how good it was when it was being run properly. I hope you will remember those high points and come back and visit us in Manhattan or at any other location that may open up in the future if they do.....

Bbq Bubba
12-17-2011, 07:35 PM
Just goes to show how hard it is to open 1 quality BBQ restaurant keeping your consistency on a nightly basis, let alone open another using uninspired help.

12-17-2011, 07:45 PM
Especially if the owner/operator is someone with no regard for quality, consistency or getting it right-- they just want to get it out and get paid. We saw people pull out briskets that were rare as roast beef and try to serve it.....So, yeah, that makes it hard....

12-18-2011, 03:41 PM
Thanks Matt - Interesting but not surprised by what was going on..

I was a little disappointed to find out after the fact that it was a franchise which I guess wasn't openly communicated before or after opening by anyone. That might have helped explain the bad experiences I was having there.. I wouldn't have felt as bad about not wanting to go back.

01-13-2012, 06:55 PM
Glad my visit was under your direction!