Legendary Restaurant Brands Chairman and CEO Paul Mangiamele announced Friday that he has executed an exclusive Master Development Agreement to bring multiple Steak and Ale restaurants to Mexico. Emilio Orozco de la Garza, managing partner of ONBD Group, believes the nation can accommodate up to 75 locations, but he plans to focus initially on opening the first five Steak and Ales in Mexico City.
“I’m honored and excited to lead the renaissance of the iconic Steak and Ale brand in my home country,” says Orozco de la Garza, whose ONBD Group owns interests in the technology and innovation, real estate, and hospitality industries. “There’s a gap in Mexico City’s explosive dining scene for a polished-casual steakhouse that showcases Old World charm in a new and innovative way. Paul and his team have put all the pieces in place to ensure the brand’s success, so we plan to get started in the capital city immediately, and expand rapidly from there.”
Once revered for its succulent Prime Rib, warm bread and bountiful salad bar, Steak and Ale is now making its return. Redefined as a 21st century polished-casual concept, while retaining the signature elements that made it an American classic, the new Steak and Ale will once again set the standard for affordable steakhouses.
“My team and I have worked tirelessly to bring Steak and Ale back, but as eager as we were to open our first restaurant, we were determined to find the right partner first,” adds Mangiamele, who has led the comeback of Bennigan’s since May 2011 and purchased both brands in February 2015. “Emilio is an outstanding businessman who shares our vision for the second generation of Steak and Ale. As we mark the 50th anniversary of our Legendary brand, I couldn’t be more pleased to make this momentous announcement.”
Orozco de la Garza explained that his passion for Steak and Ale began with family trips to Houston as a boy.
“I have a very clear memory of being in the car with my parents scanning the highway looking for Steak and Ale, which was their favorite restaurant,” he explains. “I’ll never forget the high red booths, the huge salad bar and sinking my teeth into a Kensington Club for the first time. Now I can’t wait to bring that same food experience to life for the people of Mexico.”
As part of the agreement, ONBD Group also secured the rights to sub-franchise Steak and Ale to approved operators within Mexico.
Along with Roberto Nieto Vera, ONBD Group’s Senior Partner, Orozco de la Garza is currently in discussions with several high-profile new developments in Mexico City to determine the best location for the nation’s first Steak and Ale.
Founded in 1966 by legendary restaurateur Norman Brinker, Steak and Ale was the original casual dining steakhouse. At its peak, the brand counted more than 110 locations worldwide.
The new Steak and Ale menu will feature all of its traditional favorites—from the giant salad bar, to the Hawaiian Chicken dinner and Kensington Club Steak—along with several contemporary touches, including a Prime Rib carving station with dramatic cast iron doors.
“From talking to hundreds of long-time Steak and Ale loyalists over the years, I’ve heard how they vividly remember the vibe, the energy, the incredible service and even the music from our restaurants,” says Mangiamele. “They’re nostalgic for the entire Steak and Ale experience and I can assure you we’re bringing all of that back, too.”