We just got some significant restaurant news in Columbus — the long-empty space that once was occupied by the Deepwood restaurant, directly across from the Columbus Convention Center, is going to become a huge new Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.
What’s the big deal, you ask? After all, there are Ruth’s Chris Steakhouses spread across the land. So who cares if one comes to Columbus?
The answer is this: with the addition of this new steakhouse, there will be four premium steakhouses in the core downtown Columbus area — Mitchell’s, the Hyde Park Grille, Jeff Ruby’s, and now Ruth’s Chris, all within easy walking distance of each other. And if your taste runs to Brazilian-style steakhouses, there’s one of those in the core downtown area, too.
The better question is why Columbus seems to have such an appetite for steakhouses. Do Midwesterners just crave a good steak as a matter of course? Or, as I suspect, does it have something to do with the hotel and convention and business traveler activity in downtown Columbus, and the notion that travelers looking for a place to have dinner figure a top-end steakhouse is a good, safe option — especially if they are traveling on an expense account? If Ruth’s Chris is coming to an area that already is well-served with steakhouses, they must think there is a demand for even more dry-aged beef.
As a steak lover, I’m all for steakhouse options, but four seems like too many. Whatever the reason for the steakhouse overload, I’d like to see some new restaurants that give us a bit of a wider range in the downtown dining options — like a really good Chinese place, or an Ethiopian joint. Steak is great, but diversity is even better.