In honor of its 75th anniversary this year, Lawry’s The Prime Rib will begin rolling out a new grilled rib eye steak next month, marking the chain's first new entrée addition in about 20 years.

The addition of the rib eye is a bold move for a chain known for sticking to traditions dating back to the opening of the original Beverly Hills, Calif., location in 1938. Lawry’s The Prime Rib has long been known for its menu almost entirely focused on slow-roasted prime rib, which is carved at the table from rolling silver-domed carts.

Ryan Wilson, corporate executive chef of parent company Lawry’s Restaurants Inc., and a fourth-generation representative of the family-owned business, said the decision to add the rib eye was an attempt to eliminate a veto vote,while still trying to stay true to his great-grandfather’s very focused brand concept.

“We knew that guests weren’t coming in to the restaurants because we weren’t serving a traditional steak,” said Wilson. “Adding a rib-eye steak, done our way using our product, doesn’t diminish the brand in any way. I think it will broaden the appeal of the brand.”

The rib eye is made from the same cut as the prime rib, so it’s more a matter of presentation, said Wilson.

Lawry's new rib eye steakTo make the new steak, a whole standing rib roast is slow cooked to very rare over a bed of rock salt, then chilled. Using a custom-built meat saw, the roast is portioned into 24-ounce bone-in or 12-ounce boneless steaks and seasoned.

Then the steaks are charbroiled to order and finished in the oven with a brush of basting butter. The result is a tender steak with a seared, caramelized crust. Served with crispy fried onions and scalloped potatoes, the rib eye is priced at $46 for a 12-ounce steak and $54 for the 24-ounce version.

The steak has been tested as a special in Las Vegas and Chicago, but it will be rolled out as a permanent menu item systemwide, starting in August in Beverly Hills. International locations will add the item in the fourth quarter and into 2014, Wilson said.

Steak lovers should not start looking for a petit filet or other additions to the menu anytime soon, said Wilson.