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Brandon Washington on his dad Ron Washington of Ron’s Ribs and on community

Earlier this year, Karen Chernick wrote about the missing Royal Theater mural, a history mural on South Street commemorating the legacy of the Royal Theater, a once-thriving black theater where Billie Holiday, among many others, gave concerts. The mural, painted by Eric Okdeh depicted jazz greats who played at the Royal, and neighborhood greats, like Ron Washington, of Ron's Ribs, a restaurant landmark at 1627 South St., across from the theater. In this podcast, Roberta and Imani Roach (Artblog Managing Editor) speak with Brandon Washington, son of Ron. Brandon talks about the neighborhood, his father's important role as a community leader and of his own and his brother's hope to revive Ron's Ribs in the future in a Ron's Ribs food truck.

Brandon Washington poses with photo of Ron's Ribs, closed now, which was established and run by his father, Ron Washington
Brandon Washington poses with photo of Ron’s Ribs, closed now, which was established and run by his father, Ron Washington

Brandon Washington is the eldest son of business leader and restauranteur, the late Ron Washington, a beloved member of the community around the Royal Theater on South Street. Brandon lives in the neighborhood and is himself a burgeoning community leader with a vision. He hopes to rekindle the memory of his dad and the famous Ron’s Ribs. This Friday, Aug. 11, at Tico’s Tacos, 1627 South St.,, former home of Ron’s Ribs, Brandon is debuting “Ron’s Taco,” made with Ron’s signature barbeque sauce, made on the premises by Brandon Washington and his brother. (CORRECTION:  In the podcast Roberta says Ron’s Ribs was between 15th and 16th St. which is incorrect.  Ron’s Ribs was at 1627 South St., between 16th and 17th St. We are sorry for the mistake.)

Brandon is featured as a baby on the hilarious, tongue-in-cheek commercial for Ron’s Ribs (below). He tells Roberta and Imani that he hopes to carry on the tradition with a commercial featuring his (soon-to-be-born) daughter. We can’t wait!

This 1995 documentary by Rhea Lewis, Kimberly Maxwell and Jeff Tancil features Ron Washington and other black elders talking about the history of the South Street neighborhood.

Thank you to The Galleries at Moore TGMR radio project for making this podcast possible, and especially to Matt Kalasky for inviting Artblog to participate in the Moore radio project. You can also listen to the interview with Brandon Washington at the TGMR site.