Landry’s Inc. will introduce a new, casual version of its upscale Morton’s the Steakhouse chain on Sept. 10 in The Woodlands, Texas, the company said Thursday.

Morton’s Grille will occupy a 6,000-square-foot space that previously housed a Stir Crazy Asian restaurant in the community north of Houston. It will seat 160 people, with a private dining room for 48 guests.

“The casual yet sophisticated atmosphere of Morton’s Grille will allow greater accessibility for guests,” said Tim Whitlock, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Morton’s, which Landry’s acquired two years ago.

Morton’s currently has more than 70 steakhouses, and the company has described the Grille as the “casually elegant” sister to the more upscale brand.

“The menu at Morton’s Grille will incorporate some of the classic steakhouse items, as well as what are sure to be new favorites,” Whitlock said in a statement.

In early menu releases for Morton’s Grille, prices ranged from $6 for a hot pastrami Reuben sandwich to $27 for bacon-fat braised ribs with matchstick fries.

The company said the menu will be “playful and inventive,” including such items as tuna poke with soy-caramel sauce, Creole shrimp with white cheddar spoonbread and buffalo chicken meatballs.

Morton's Grille

Morton’s Grille will also offer a happy-hour beverage program for the after-work clientele, the company said.

The bar will offer punch bowls priced at $29 each that serve four to six people, as well as a menu with items in the price range of $6, $7 and $8. The menu will include toasted garlic sticks with blue cheese fondue; a filet mignon trio with three sauces; and tater tots with beef, Jack cheese and jalapeños.

Casual versions of upscale steakhouses have grown in recent years. Southlake, Texas-based Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group introduced its Del Frisco’s Grille in New York City in 2011, and the concept has expanded to six units. The company said earlier this summer that it was accelerating growth of the concept, and expected to add six units this year, as opposed to the previously indicated five.

Landry's Inc. is a restaurant, hospitality and gaming company that expects to generate $3 billion in revenue this year. In addition to the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casinos, it owns such restaurant brands as Landry's Seafood House, Rainforest Cafe, McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant, Chart House, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Claim Jumper and Saltgrass Steak House. In addition to Morton’s, its fine-dining brands include Mastro’s Restaurants, Vic & Anthony's, Oceanaire, Grotto and Willie G's.

Contact Ron Ruggless at ronald.ruggless@penton.com.
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