SEO Ron Johnson
Brudzinski was an integral part of the “Killer B’s” defense that helped take the Dolphins to the Super Bowl in 1982 and 1984.
Bru’s Room was founded in 1989, Brudzinski’s last season.
Brudzinski said he had been investing in commercial real estate and looking for other opportunities when restaurateur Eddie Hauck convinced him to open their first store in Margate.
Hauck, who is from Buffalo, was the owner of the Wings ’N Things chain. Brudzinski’s most notable restaurant experience was cleaning up his aunt and uncle’s bar when growing up in Ohio.
Ten years into the partnership, Brudzinski and Hauck began opening other stores around South Florida. Now, 20 years after they started, the partners have seven locations from Sunrise to Boynton Beach that serve wings, burgers, sandwiches, pizzas, wraps, salads and desserts. The most expensive menu item at the Pompano Beach restaurant was a $16.95 New York strip steak.
The success contrasts with the restaurant ventures of some other athletes, such as Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat being sued by a former partner, former Dolphin Jimmy Cefalo’s wine cellar filing for bankruptcy protection and ex-Dolphin Bernie Kosar’s steakhouse being evicted in South Miami.
Brudzinski said he has succeeded because he’s taken a hands-on approach. Along with Hauck, Brudzinski said he’s been known to bus tables or take the occasional shift at the deep fryer.
“We’re not scared to get our hands dirty,” he said. “If we have to cook, we cook.”
Bru’s Room, which has nearly 600 employees, had slightly less than $30 million in revenue last year, said Rick Hamilton, the company’s director of operations.
The company’s relative lack of turnover – about 40 percent in an industry where 200 percent is the norm – has helped Bru’s Room succeed, Hamilton said.
In addition, Bru’s Room has either completed or is planning to complete renovations in Pompano Beach, Deerfield Beach, Delray Beach and Boynton Beach. Among the upgrades is a recently completed $250,000 renovation of the patio at Boynton Beach, Hamilton said.
Long term, Bru’s Room would like to have 20 stores in Florida. At some point, the company would like to draw interest from a large franchiser like Brinker International or Darden Restaurants, Hamilton said.
For now, though, Brudzinski said he is focused on the company’s immediate challenges, and he’s not worrying about going national.
He said: “We’ll cross that bridge whe it comes.”
Bru’s Room Sports Grill
- Owners: Bob “Bru” Brudzinski and Eddie Hauck
- Web site: www.brusroom.com