Ruth’s Chris Steak House will open in Charleston, South Carolina, in the fall of 2014. Co-owners Mark and Nancy Oswald, the largest franchisees of the internationally acclaimed brand, also co-own and operate the three existing Ruth’s Chris restaurants in South Carolina in Greenville, Columbia, and Myrtle Beach, as well as Ruth’s Chris restaurants in Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee.
The Charleston restaurant will open in the heart of the Historic District next to the Charleston City Market at the French Quarter Inn, named “The World’s Best” by Travel & Leisure and selected by Trip Advisor as the No. 2 hotel in the United States.
“It is exceptionally fitting that our Charleston restaurant will be situated adjacent to the French Quarter Inn, as New Orleans is the birthplace of the Ruth’s Chris brand and a significant part of our culinary heritage,” says Nancy Oswald.
Michael O’Donnell, chairman and CEO of Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc., echoed Oswald’s enthusiasm. “Mark and Nancy have pursued the perfect property and partners to introduce Ruth’s Chris to the Charleston market," he says. "As legacy franchisees and restaurant industry veterans, the Oswalds have had tremendous success building the Ruth’s Chris brand throughout the Southeast and were selected as recipients of the Ruth U. Fertel Award in 2008, the highest accolade Ruth’s Hospitality Group bestows."
"Their dedication to continue Ruth Fertel’s legacy of service, hospitality, and commitment to the brand is unrivaled, and Mark and Nancy are known for their involvement in the communities they serve," O'Donnell adds. "I am confident they will bring this passion and dedication to Charleston and ensure guests have experiences that will delight and create memories for years to come.”
Palmetto Commercial Properties principals and owners of the restaurant space, Jay Keenan and Batson Hewitt look forward to the addition of Ruth’s Chris to the Southern hospitality experience already provided at the French Quarter Inn.
“We have great confidence that Ruth’s Chris will prove to be a popular choice for both visitors and locals alike and take pride in knowing the Ruth’s Chris team will treat guests just as we do at French Quarter Inn with very special attention and care,” Keenan says.
Joe Keenan, CCIM of Palmetto Commercial Properties was the real estate broker representing the Oswalds and Ruth’s Chris Steak House throughout the transaction.
Seasoned fine dining leader John St. John will lead the Charleston team as general manager. St. John, who served as general manager of High Cotton from 2009 to 2012, returns to Charleston having led the Ruth’s Chris Steak House Atlanta/Buckhead restaurant for the past year. St. John’s enthusiasm for extraordinary service makes him a driven leader of Ruth’s Chris Charleston.
Having also gained experience at the helm of Capital Grille’s flagship steakhouse for close to a decade, St. John will prepare the new staff to provide the standard of service characteristic of Ruth’s Chris Steak House.
Ruth’s Chris Charleston will offer the traditional favorites you expect from a great steakhouse and provide lagniappe, the little extras, of a world class dining experience. Engaging all five senses Ruth’s Chris prepares custom-aged, USDA Prime steaks seared to perfection in custom-designed broilers at 1800 degrees and served on heated platters so steak stays hot from the first bite to the very last.
The Ruth’s Chris dining experience begins with a variety of New Orleans inspired appetizers such as Mushrooms Stuffed with Crabmeat, Barbecued Shrimp and Louisiana Seafood Gumbo. The focus of the menu, the signature steaks and chops section, features the expertly broiled Filet, a tender cut of corn-fed Midwestern beef, the full-flavored classic cut T-Bone and the New York Strip, a favorite of many steak connoisseurs.
Additionally, the menu’s wide selection of sides features an entire section devoted to potatoes with extra thin and crispy Shoestrings, Au Gratin in a three-cheese sauce and classic Mashed with a hint of garlic as well as exceptional sides such as Creamed Spinach and Broccoli au Gratin. Guests who save room for dessert can choose from hand-crafted house-prepared Creme Brulee, a classic Creole egg custard topped with fresh berries, Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce, or the decadent Chocolate Sin Cake.
The Ruth’s Chris commitment to quality continues with the beverage program where the use of fresh-squeezed juices and house-made sours ensure specialty cocktails and martinis are hand-crafted with care. Favorites include a classic Dirty Prime Martini with colossal blue cheese stuffed olives, a Raspberry Rosemary Cosmo with fresh rosemary and raspberries, and a Ruby Red Greyhound with a hint of elderflower liqueur.
Wine is an integral part of the Ruth’s Chris experience, where the more than 300 labels are offered on an iPad beverage menu to enhance the guest experience.