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Ruth’s Chris Steak House Expands into Downtown Markham

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Popular restaurant concept Ruth’s Chris Steak House, known for the slogan ‘if it doesn’t sizzle, send it back’, has opened an impressive new space in downtown Markham, just north of Toronto. The restaurant has been expanding its operations with success following the relocation of its Mississauga location last year.

Ruth’s Chris has been in the Canadian market for 23 years and it now operates six locations nationally in the GTA as well as in Niagara Falls, Edmonton and Calgary. The restaurant concept was founded by Ruth Fertel 53 years ago, in New Orleans, Louisiana, and now boasts 155 locations globally. The company is known for its 500-degree sizzling plates that sizzle with a helping of butter.

CO-FRANCHISEES LANA DUKE AND R. DAVID DUKE MARKED THE GRAND OPENING OF THEIR THIRD RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE IN THE GTA, LOCATED IN THE MARRIOTT MARKHAM HOTEL AT 170 ENTERPRISE BLVD IN ‘DOWNTOWN MARKHAM. JOINING IN THE RIBBON CUTTING FESTIVITIES (RIGHT TO LEFT) RUTH’S CHRIS-MARKHAM GENERAL MANAGER MIKE BERLANGUET, R. DAVID DUKE, LORI DUKE, LANA DUKE, DIRECTOR OF SALES & MARKETING SARA WILDE, EXECUTIVE CHEF IBRAHIM HODROJ AND TORONTO MARRIOTT MARKHAM GENERAL MANAGER HIREN PRABHAKAR. (PHOTO: DARRELL HEIN)

Co-Franchisee Lana Duke’s voice may be familiar to many Torontonians — she’s a regular on radio ads on stations such as 680 News. Ms. Duke said, “We’ve been part of the Greater Toronto Area restaurant scene since 1995 where we opened the first Ruth’s Chris in Canada at our downtown location in the Hilton Toronto on Adelaide St. W.  Almost a year ago to the day, we moved our Mississauga restaurant to 970 Dixon Rd., across from Pearson Airport.  All our venues reinforce the Ruth Fertel New Orleans tradition of sizzling steaks, fine wines and exceptional service.”

Executive Vice President and Co-Franchisee R. David Duke described the new restaurant location, explaining how, “The revolving door entry leads guests into a curved, soft, welcoming space that cradles the reception desk. From there, the wine display hints at what lies beyond, which is an extensive lounge area where a floating bar is surrounded by comfortable seating. The dramatic bold-red, curved 15-foot-high ceiling terminates in significant glazing. During the day, the glass façade that surrounds two sides of the restaurant brings in natural light, and in the evening, emanates light to the outside, animating street life and exposing passers-by to the dining opportunities inside. For diners who enjoy being in the hub of activity, this space is perfect.”

CELEBRATING THE GRAND OPENING OF RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE – MARKHAM, REGIONAL COUNCILLOR JIM JONES (SECOND FROM LEFT) AND WARD 8 COUNCILLOR ALEX CHIU (THIRD FROM LEFT) BROUGHT GREETINGS ON BEHALF OF MAYOR FRANK SCARPITTI AND MEMBERS OF CITY COUNCIL. LOCATED AT 170 ENTERPRISE BLVD IN MARKHAM, SHOWN (L-R ) ARE RUTH’S CHRIS – MARKHAM GENERAL MANAGER MIKE BERLANGUET, COUNCILLORS JONES AND CHIU, WITH CO-FRANCHISEES LANA DUKE AND R. DAVID DUKE, WHO NOW HAVE THREE RESTAURANTS IN THE GREATER TORONTO AREA. (PHOTO: DARRELL HEIN)

The Markham restaurant, located at the Marriott Markham Hotel at 170 Enterprise Blvd in ‘Downtown Markham, spans 7,632 square feet. The architect and interior designer of the space is HCA Architecture of Toronto.

Harry Christakis, a principal at HCA Architecture, worked on the project with interior designer Andy Gearing. Mr. Christakis said, “Our vision was to offer a variety of choices for diners, depending on their moods and needs. The bold colour and sense of space in this restaurant begin to make an iconic statement of the brand on this street in Downtown Markham. There is a continual sense of delight and surprise as people pass through this narrative.”

He went on to say, “Proceeding through the restaurant, the next space features intimate banquet-style seating for more private, intimate dinners and conversations among parties of two to four. Then there is a series of private dining rooms for larger groups of friends and family or corporate functions. At the end of the sequence is the grand dining hall space with its curves, antique mirrors and hanging light fixtures reminiscent of chandeliers of the great halls of the past for a more transitional ambience.”

RETAIL INSIDER’S YANA BRIKKER WITH LANA DUKE AND DAVID EISENSTADT, AT THE TORONTO HILTON, IN FRONT OF A BRONZED COMMEMORATIVE PLAQUE MARKING THE 5TH ANNIVERSARY OF RUTH’S CHRIS IN TORONTO

A red hue is prominent throughout the new space, tying in to the Ruth’s Chris brand identity. “We used a similar deep red in the carpet with a grayish tone, and we loved the carpet so much that we had the pattern custom-made into the vinyl installed on the wall where the banquettes are located,” Mr. Christakis added.

R. David Duke divides his time between three Ruth’s Chris locations in San Antonio, Texas, and the three in the Greater Toronto Area.

Article Author

Craig Patterson
Located in Toronto, Craig is the Editor-in-Chief of Retail Insider and President/CEO of Retail Insider Media Ltd. He is also a retail analyst and consultant, Director of Applied Research at the University of Alberta School of Retailing in Edmonton, and consultant to the Retail Council of Canada. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for over 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees.

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