Ruth's Chris Steak House to finally open in Boston

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DaveM
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2004/08/03 18:27:35 (permalink)

Ruth's Chris Steak House to finally open in Boston

From the Boston Globe (also on www.boston.com) today 8/3/2004:

NAMES
Old City Hall 'steakout'; WBZ's Hughes to wed
By Carol Beggy & Mark Shanahan, Globe Staff | August 3, 2004

PUT A FORK IN IT Ruth's Chris, the nation's largest high-end steak chain, is taking over the two-story, 12,000-square-foot space once occupied by Maison Robert. The chain's CEO, Craig Miller, said yesterday that the 89th Ruth's Chris franchise will open early next year in Old City Hall. Richard B. White, property manager of Old City Hall, said Ruth's Chris has agreed to retain the building's "historical integrity," including the 20-foot ceiling in the main dining room and the outdoor dining on the patio. Miller said Boston is the largest metropolitan area without a Ruth's Chris, which got its name when founder Ruth Fertel bought Chris Steak House. Miller, who used to live in the Boston area, said he's always believed the Old City Hall location would be "a perfect place" for the chain's "unique Southern hospitality."

This is indeed a splendid property, and this should be a welcome addition.
DaveM
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26 Replies Related Threads

    renfrew
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    RE: Ruth's Chris Steak House to finally open in Boston 2004/08/04 11:02:34 (permalink)
    It is a great property, but i am really not happy seeing an unnecessary chain (no matter how high end) going in to that property.

    We already have a Morton's, Capital Grille and the Palm. Smith and Wollensky is coming here too. All of these on top of the independents. Abe and Louie's (albeit part of a restaurant group, but there is only one Abe and Louie's), Grill 23, and the Oak Room.

    Thats 8 steakhouses in a city that in reality is not all that big. Just seems so unnecessary.
    #2
    lleechef
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    RE: Ruth's Chris Steak House to finally open in Boston 2004/08/05 01:26:32 (permalink)
    That's 8 steakhouses in a city..........that is on the ocean......and thousands of miles away from any good dry-aged Angus from South Dakota, Nebraska or Iowa. Hmmmmmmm.
    I'm sorry that Maison Robert is no longer. Jacky Robert was a unending source of information when I was the buyer/jury member of the Cordon Bleu scholarship when it was held in Boston.
    #3
    GordonW
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    RE: Ruth's Chris Steak House to finally open in Boston 2004/08/05 02:27:38 (permalink)
    For an irritating web site, check www.ruthschris.com.
    #4
    renfrew
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    RE: Ruth's Chris Steak House to finally open in Boston 2004/08/05 08:50:03 (permalink)
    Boston is only 1200 miles or so from Iowa. Way under the "thousands of miles"

    And there is no way you can convince someone who lives in boston that 8 steakhouses are required. There are plenty of other restaurants here that serve dry-aged angus as well. Not to mention a second Capital Grille location in the 10 minute away suburb of Chestnut Hill.

    Bottom line, a Ruth's Chris is not a must have for this city.
    #5
    signman
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    RE: Ruth's Chris Steak House to finally open in Boston 2004/08/05 10:06:41 (permalink)
    Be aware that while Ruth's Chris advertises US Prime beef, their filet mignons are not prime.
    #6
    Stephen Rushmore Jr.
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    RE: Ruth's Chris Steak House to finally open in Boston 2004/08/05 12:01:12 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by GordonW

    For an irritating web site, check www.ruthschris.com.
    I don't think the site is that bad. Clearly the best food pictures on the internet can be found right here!
    #7
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Ruth's Chris Steak House to finally open in Boston 2004/08/05 12:23:21 (permalink)
    Ruth Chris is not my idea of roadfood but I have never had a bad meal there.

    Their sides are huge. We ususally split them. Their steaks are wonderful.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #8
    Paulie
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    RE: Ruth's Chris Steak House to finally open in Boston 2004/08/05 13:57:34 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by renfrew



    And there is no way you can convince someone who lives in boston that 8 steakhouses are required. There are plenty of other restaurants here that serve dry-aged angus as well. Not to mention a second Capital Grille location in the 10 minute away suburb of Chestnut Hill.

    Bottom line, a Ruth's Chris is not a must have for this city.


    Say what you want about chains, I have to believe that any successful chain's marketing people are smart enough to investigate whether adequate demand exists in a given market to actually support their store before deciding to locate there.

    Besides, how many restaurants anywhere are "must haves"? As mentioned in other threads, Boston has probably hundreds and hundreds of Italian, Chinese and seafood restaurants and probably thousands of pizza places. Memphis probably has dozens and dozens of barbecue places. Etc., etc., throughout the country. Are all these "required"? Who decides? You?

    I would imagine that, if the demand is there, the business will do OK. If not, it won't.
    #9
    Lucky Bishop
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    RE: Ruth's Chris Steak House to finally open in Boston 2004/08/05 14:55:37 (permalink)
    Actually, Boston is notorious for not being hospitable to chain restaurants, especially fast food ones. Among the chains you won't find in Boston: Long John Silvers, Arbys (there's one or two way out in the burbs, but I don't think there's one inside 128), Hardees, Sonic, Dairy Queen, A&W, etc. Even the ones that *are* here, there aren't that many of them. The only fast food chains that I know of more than three or four locations in Boston and Cambridge proper are McDonalds, Burger King and Subway.
    #10
    BT
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    RE: Ruth's Chris Steak House to finally open in Boston 2004/08/05 22:21:00 (permalink)
    One chain reportedly started there: Dunkin Donuts

    PAGE ONE

    Boston's Big Dig
    Isn't the Only Hole
    That's Famous Here
    Area Has One Doughnut Store
    For Every 5,750 Residents;
    Mr. Shannon Has a Cream

    By ROBERT TOMSHO
    Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
    July 26, 2004; Page A1

    BOSTON -- With thousands of volunteers lined up to man information kiosks and serve as "Beantown Buddy" guides, delegates to this week's Democratic National Convention will get plenty of help finding landmarks like Fenway Park and Bunker Hill.

    But out-of-towners who do get lost on the city's winding streets won't have any trouble tracking down another unlikely icon of Boston life: the doughnut shop.

    There are at least 1,050 of them in the Boston market, according to NPD Group Inc., a Port Washington, N.Y., marketing-information concern. That sifts out to one doughnut store for every 5,750 residents -- nearly eight times the national average. Among American cities, only Providence, R.I., Boston's much smaller New England neighbor, has more doughnut shops per capita. Boston also has many hard-to-track doughnut stands that NPD says it may be missing, in locations such as service stations, sandwich shops and hardware stores.


    A Boston cream doughnut


    When local television producer David Andelman was looking for a condo in downtown Boston, he told his real-estate agent he wouldn't live anyplace where he couldn't walk out the door, punt a football and hit a Dunkin' Donuts outlet. Now, he lives on the 28th floor of a building with two of them, on adjacent corners. "I experiment, kind of like a wine-tasting," he says. "How does a hazelnut [coffee] go with a chocolate doughnut? How does a decaf go with a glazed?"

    Retired rental-truck worker Donald Nicholson has been going to the Donut King, in neighboring Quincy, Mass., nearly every morning for 15 years. He favors the mom-and-pop shop's mammoth cake doughnuts, adding that anybody he needs to see is usually there. "You need your car fixed, there's a mechanic," the 69-year-old says. "You need your pipes fixed, there's a plumber."

    Doughnuts are thriving in Boston even in an era of carbohydrate conniptions and trans-fat trepidation. Consider the great doughnut debate.

    State Sen. Charles Shannon, a former policeman, sparked it when he set out to name an official state doughnut at the behest of some grade-school students from his district, north of town. They wanted to honor the Boston cream, a custard-filled concoction slathered with chocolate icing.

    But politicians from the hinterlands balked at designating a pastry so closely associated with the big city. Cele Hahn, then a state representative from Westfield, complained that, in her neck of the woods, Boston creams were known as "Long Johns" and "Bavarian creams."

    Doughnut Debate

    "Should selling Boston cream doughnuts be mandatory of bakeries?" Ms. Hahn wrote in one 2001 newspaper column. "How about mandatory eating?"

    After six years of wrangling, Sen. Shannon finally claimed victory for the Boston cream last year, but not before critics started calling him Sen. Doughnut.

    Doughnut-like desserts have been part of the local cuisine since colonial times. But the pastries got a big boost with the 1950 founding of Dunkin' Donuts in Quincy. These days, the company is a unit of the British conglomerate Allied Domecq PLC, but 875 of its 3,900 U.S. stores are still located in the Boston area. "It's a New England institution," says John Glass, a food-industry analyst in Boston for CIBC World Markets. "It's like the Red Sox or the Boston accent."


    Victor and Octavio Carvalho


    Or a piece of the American dream for Victor and Octavio Carvalho, franchisees who now own the original Dunkin' store in Quincy. Sons of a Portuguese immigrant who got into the doughnut business in 1979, the brothers are part of an extended family that owns about 400 Dunkin' outlets. "You go to a family wedding and it's like a corporate event," says Octavio Carvalho.

    Industry analysts say that for years, Dunkin's dominance helped deter North Carolina's Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. from entering the market. A spokeswoman for Krispy, which recently opened its first outlets in Boston, says the delay was simply a matter of finding the right franchisee and real estate, and wasn't affected by Dunkin's market share. Meanwhile, Tim Hortons, the big Canadian doughnut chain, a unit of Wendy's International Inc., just entered the market with the purchase of a Rhode Island chain that has several stores in Massachusetts.

    Then there is Honey Dew Doughnuts, in suburban Braintree, which has 120 stores in the Boston area and plans to open 100 more here in the next 10 years or so in places like hospitals, college campuses and sports stadiums.

    The heightened competition has sparked zoning and licensing battles as chains vie for a shrinking pool of prime locations and citizens groups fight back against traffic at doughnut drive-thrus and changes to their neighborhoods. "But I think we have an easier time because we are purely local," says Jim McKenna, Honey Dew's executive vice president, who refers to British-owned Dunkin' as "that United Kingdom conglomerate."

    Taking on the doughnut chains isn't easy. Just ask exercise enthusiast Mark Fenton, host of the PBS television series "America's Walking" and an elected member of the planning board in Scituate, a small coastal town just south of Boston.

    After a second corporate-owned doughnut store sought to open in Scituate earlier this year, Mr. Fenton mounted a public counterattack, arguing that the chains would drive out local businesses, change the quaint town's character and add to the nation's obesity epidemic. The town council backed his proposal to ban such outlets but, when the issue went before citizens at the town's annual meeting in March, it failed by eight votes. "It's shocking to me," says Mr. Fenton, who adds that he has never set foot in such a doughnut store and probably never will.

    Breaking free of such deep-fried tradition has been more difficult for politicians like Boston City Councilman John Tobin, who last year mounted a crusade against childhood obesity, urging the Boston schools to get fatty foods out of the cafeterias and encourage kids to get more exercise.

    Even so, the councilman is also a former doughnut-shop worker and, when he wants to hold constituent meetings, he knows it's important to schedule them in places where people like to gather. In the West Roxbury neighborhood he represents, that would be Anna's Hand Cut Donuts.

    "I just have the coffee," Mr. Tobin says.
    #11
    Lucky Bishop
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    RE: Ruth's Chris Steak House to finally open in Boston 2004/08/06 00:17:51 (permalink)
    quote:
    Doughnut-like desserts have been part of the local cuisine since colonial times. But the pastries got a big boost with the 1950 founding of Dunkin' Donuts in Quincy. These days, the company is a unit of the British conglomerate Allied Domecq PLC, but 875 of its 3,900 U.S. stores are still located in the Boston area. "It's a New England institution," says John Glass, a food-industry analyst in Boston for CIBC World Markets. "It's like the Red Sox or the Boston accent."



    The somewhat shameful local secret, unmentioned in this article, is that nobody actually goes to Dunkin Donuts for the doughnuts anymore. Back in the day, almost all of the stores had their own kitchens in back and made their doughnuts on site, meaning that if you knew when to go, you could snag some fresh warm doughnuts. Unfortunately, not one of those 875 stores in the Boston area (which includes many things like the little DD kiosks in Stop and Shop, which only barely count as stores -- they're more like those little carts that sell jewelry in the mall) makes their doughnuts in-house anymore: they're all serviced from a central bakery. What that means is that at best, you're getting a doughnut that's several hours old instead of several minutes, and in a store that doesn't get much turnaround, you might be chewing on a doughnut that's been sitting there for 48 hours. It's not nice.

    So how do they stay in business? The coffee. It's all people go to the Dunk for anymore, but they go there regularly. In summer, I'm likely to suck down three or four large iced coffees a week myself, and I'm only a minor addict at best!

    Most Bostonians pride themselves on a kind of blue collar Everyman ethos, and much sport is made locally of Starbucks and their foofy coffees, which are popularly portrayed as being too fancy and, more importantly, much too expensive. That thought got punctured a few weeks ago when one of the local papers finally thought to comparison shop. Well! Turns out that contrary to popular belief, Dunkin Donuts coffee -- both in the fancy espresso-based drinks and in your basic cup of regular joe -- is considerably spendier than Starbucks, to the tune of anywhere from a quarter to nearly a buck per cup! Who's Mr. Snootypants Aristocrat now, then?
    #12
    renfrew
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    RE: Ruth's Chris Steak House to finally open in Boston 2004/08/06 09:18:20 (permalink)
    The trick to finding a dunkin donuts that still makes their own donuts is fine one that is certified kosher. There are a few in new jersey that are and they have their own kitchens. The donuts are much better.


    Even if we dont like the national chains, Boston does appreciate our regional or local chains. Think D'angelos, Finagle a Bagel, etc.

    and I have to say that Paulie is giving these so called smart marketing guys a little more credit than they are due. As far as whether I make the decisions? Actually I do. Keep your eyes open, i'll be making a bunch of decisions real soon.
    #13
    Kaczmark
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    RE: Ruth's Chris Steak House to finally open in Boston 2008/09/29 19:53:50 (permalink)
    Boy I had a succulenty streak there tonight. Very nice (a little expensive tho!)
    #14
    joerogo
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    RE: Ruth's Chris Steak House to finally open in Boston 2008/09/29 20:33:09 (permalink)
    You nailed it. Very good but pricey.
    #15
    Delta
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    RE: Ruth's Chris Steak House to finally open in Boston 2008/09/30 01:32:05 (permalink)
    The Palm in Boston is outstanding!!!!!
    #16
    roossy90
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    RE: Ruth's Chris Steak House to finally open in Boston 2008/09/30 18:03:50 (permalink)
    Ruth seems to be having a major expansion in the last year or so.
    I know they opened, I think 3, locations in SC alone in 2007.
    The one in Myrtle Beach was having trouble with getting customers, and my friend was sorry he quit his good job at Chestnut Hill to go there, but he said he was going to stick it out and see what happens.
    #17
    cameron074
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    RE: Ruth's Chris Steak House to finally open in Boston 2008/10/01 18:10:43 (permalink)
    Enjoy it Beantown. Then, after you enjoy it, go right back to your local steakhouse and get something you know you'll enjoy more for a much cheaper price.

    On that note, I really, really want to go to Peter Lugers at some point in the near future.
    #18
    sk bob
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    RE: Ruth's Chris Steak House to finally open in Boston 2008/10/08 20:24:26 (permalink)
    the sides should be huge to fill you up from the small steaks & entrees.
    been there a couple times, good steaks,small portions (for me),big price.
    just my opinion.
    #19
    Ev1L
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    RE: Ruth's Chris Steak House to finally open in Boston 2008/10/11 20:57:39 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Kaczmark

    Boy I had a succulenty streak there tonight. Very nice (a little expensive tho!)


    yay for reviving a 2 year old thread.
    #20
    MiamiDon
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    RE: Ruth's Chris Steak House to finally open in Boston 2008/10/12 11:45:04 (permalink)
    Actually, it was a four-year-old thread.

    So, I guess the Ruth's Chris is still in business in Boston! " />

    Are there more than eight steakhouses in Boston now?

    Inquiring minds want to know!
    #21
    wanderingjew
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    RE: Ruth's Chris Steak House to finally open in Boston 2008/10/12 22:31:58 (permalink)
    Not to go off topic, but how do these people find four year old friends. I picture some unshaven unemployed guy, wearing a "wife beater" that lives in their parents basement and sits at the computer all day and night searching the long, long, long, long, long, long list of one thread after another, after another, after another, after another- sorry that's just what goes through my mind.
    #22
    cameron074
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    RE: Ruth's Chris Steak House to finally open in Boston 2008/10/19 19:53:34 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by wanderingjew

    Not to go off topic, but how do these people find four year old friends. I picture some unshaven unemployed guy, wearing a "wife beater" that lives in their parents basement and sits at the computer all day and night searching the long, long, long, long, long, long list of one thread after another, after another, after another, after another- sorry that's just what goes through my mind.


    I'll assume you meant 4 year old threads. It's simple, really. Not everyone has been on the site for as long as its been around. I, for one. The site has a search function. When someone wants to talk about their experience somewhere they're more likely to search and find a previously started thread. Your description of "these people" seems poor at best.
    quote:
    Originally posted by Ev1L

    quote:
    Originally posted by Kaczmark

    Boy I had a succulenty streak there tonight. Very nice (a little expensive tho!)


    yay for reviving a 2 year old thread.


    I'm sorry, but what exactly is the problem with that?
    #23
    MetroplexJim
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    RE: Ruth's Chris Steak House to finally open in Boston 2008/10/20 08:07:12 (permalink)
    I'll eat at Ruth's Chris only if someone else is paying. I went once on my own dime in Arlington, VA and was "invited" twice again. All three times i couldn't get the thought out of my head that for these $$$ I could be eating at The Prime Rib or Morton's!

    At Ruth's Chris you literally pay for the "sizzle", not the steak. I can't believe how the one here in Dallas stays open.
    #24
    stevep
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    RE: Ruth's Chris Steak House to finally open in Boston 2008/10/20 10:22:20 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by wanderingjew

    Not to go off topic, but how do these people find four year old friends. I picture some unshaven unemployed guy, wearing a "wife beater" that lives in their parents basement and sits at the computer all day and night searching the long, long, long, long, long, long list of one thread after another, after another, after another, after another- sorry that's just what goes through my mind.


    It's not hard to believe if you know how to properly use the search function. Search for "ruth's chris" in subject line only, and five threads come up.

    Funny how posters get berated for not using the search function, but still somehow get berated when they do.
    #25
    mar52
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    RE: Ruth's Chris Steak House to finally open in Boston 2011/01/15 15:00:29 (permalink)
    Adding to this thread as Capital Grille is mentioned here.
     
    Capital Grille just opened up in Los Angeles in The Beverly Center which is a fancy name for a mall.
     
    They state that meals start at $50.  I hear that the average price per person is around $100.
     
    My associate, here at work has been trying to make reservations for dinner there.  It has been booked solid every time he tries.
     
    I can't imagine that many people spending that kind of money on a meal.  Is it that good?
     
     
     
    
    #26
    chewingthefat
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    RE: Ruth's Chris Steak House to finally open in Boston 2011/01/16 12:10:10 (permalink)
    mar52

    Adding to this thread as Capital Grille is mentioned here.

    Capital Grille just opened up in Los Angeles in The Beverly Center which is a fancy name for a mall.

    They state that meals start at $50.  I hear that the average price per person is around $100.

    My associate, here at work has been trying to make reservations for dinner there.  It has been booked solid every time he tries.

    I can't imagine that many people spending that kind of money on a meal.  Is it that good?




    Marlene, if you'd like an expensive steak in LA, go to CUT, Wolfgang Puck's place in the Beverly Wilshire. The Waygu Filet is $22.00 an oz.

    #27
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