A South Street Tradition Lives On...
Ron’s Ribs began in 1984 at 1627 South Street; a neighborhood store-front on a block with other traditional South Philadelphia storefronts. For over 60 years, the address was historically operated as a black-owned barbeque establishment. Before Ron’s Ribs, it was Bea Bea’s Lawnside barbeque, there for 40 years as the delicious barbeque place of South Street. Bea Bea’s inherited the business from her uncle Lester so that originally it was Bee Bee’s and Lester’s Lawnside Barbeque. Miss Bea’s was so popular throughout the 50’s and 60’s that she bottled her hot sauce for retail sale in stores across the local area. The tiny restaurant was established in a vibrant, African-American business district, near the Philadelphia Tribune, the Royal Theatre, Dell’s restaurant, Miss Jessie’s Dress Shop, Process Junior’s Barbershop and so many other black owned businesses which thrived for 50 years.
The summer of 1984, Ron’s Ribs came to life in the perfect location for a downhome rib joint — the renowned “South Street.” The area was known for the nightlife, eateries and shopping. No visit to Philadelphia was complete without a visit to South Street, and most importantly, the epicurean fantasy known as Ron’s Ribs. In 2001, Washington opened another location near the campus of Temple University, but due to his heart failure and his declining health, Ron’s Ribs slowly lost its steam. In 2002, Ron Washington passed away and Ron’s Ribs closed. Two years later, his youngest brother Kevin, re-opened the restaurant. Kevin hoped to continue the Ron's Rib’s legacy and pave the way for Ron’s two young sons to carry on their father’s business. Under Kevin’s management, Ron’s Ribs flourished.
Now, the eldest son of Ronald Washington, Brandon (adorable baby and food-tasting specialist featured in the commercial), decided to make an effort to reopen the legendary establishment. His efforts were ignited by constant inquiries about the status of the business. While sporting his vintage Ron’s Ribs t-shirt, many people would approach him and ask about the storefront that remains at 1627 South St. He grew frustrated telling those who asked, that the business was no longer in operation. In July 2013, he set out to rekindle the brand by starting a t-shirt campaign. The endeavor was used to induce anticipation and excitement about the possibility of the Bar-B-Q tradition making a comeback. Unfortunately, he was unable to reopen the restaurant. Although the business was unable to reopen, it didn't stop Brandon's passion for revitalizing his father's brand.
In 2021, Brandon decided to continue the brand by way of "Barbecue Sauce". On his father's birthday, he released "Ron's Signature Sauce". It has received many acknowledgments within the media. His efforts have been featured on FYI Philly, and The Inquirer. It's slowly becoming a PHILLY favorite. Brandon has decided to continue the brand by selling Ron's merchandise and "Ron's Signature Sauce" barbeque sauce in order to continue the flavor's tradition that has existed in Philadephia for almost 100 years.