The first time I ever slammed against a salad bar was at Steak and Ale as a young lad. The thought of the stack of the cold plates chilling to near iceberg levels only to be met with a layer of salad greens and the very first sampling of blue cheese ever still brings a slight moistening to the side of my lips.
I am not sure the last time I ran through that salad bar, or any salad bar for that matter, but it had to be at least five years ago because that was when the very last Steak and Ale closed its doors.
Steak and Ale was part of the Metromedia Restaurant Group along with Bennigan’s. The restaurant legend Norman Brinker started Steak and Ale in 1966 and later launched Bennigan’s before he left the company in the early 1980s to start Chili’s. In 2008, Steak and Ale had 58 company-owned locations, when Metromedia’s lender forced it to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection.
Last year we announced that Atalaya Capital Management was in the midst of bringing back Bennigan’s (can you say Monte Cristo?) and now they are “incubating” the Steak and Ale concept. Don’t go knocking on the old doors of the decaying buildings just yet, this is very much a 2014 project. But it will be fun to reminisce over an inexpensive steak and a sample of wine for a quarter.
Do you remember when the Steak and Ale menu was written on these giant laminated butcher knives? That probably never caused any trouble. We’ve been saving the coupon below for just such a comeback.