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Los Angeles-based Lawry’s Restaurants Inc. is also poised for new growth in the U.S. and overseas. The company currently operates and licenses nine Lawry’s The Prime Rib locations, as well as two units of The Carvery and the one-off restaurants Five Crowns, with its adjacent gastro pub SideDoor, and Tam O’Shanter.

The company is in the process of bringing a new Lawry’s The Prime Rib location to Seoul, Korea — a first for the chain, which has seen success in Asia with licensed locations in Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taipei.

The company is also looking for more corporate locations in the U.S. in addition to growing its other concepts, such as its fast-casual sandwich concept, The Carvery, which currently has two units in Southern California.

In 2009, Wilson added the SideDoor gastro pub concept to the company’s English-themed Five Crowns restaurant in Corona del Mar, Calif., another landmark restaurant dating back to 1965, which also serves prime rib. The 90-seat gastro pub offers 12 beers on tap, wines by the glass and craft cocktails with a more casual menu, like prime rib sandwiches and prime rib chili cheese fries.

SideDoor has exceeded expectations, and the company plans to add a similar unit to the Lawry’s Prime Rib in Chicago this fall. Wilson said some elements of the concept will also likely be added to the Lawry’s in Dallas, though it may not be called SideDoor there.

Richard Frank, Lawry’s Restaurants president and chief executive and Wilson’s uncle, said the addition of more approachable price points allows the company to compete with steakhouse chains that have been adding more-affordable bar and prix fixe menus. Still, SideDoor won’t come to Beverly Hills or Las Vegas because the Lawry’s there don’t have the foot traffic, he said.

Lastly, Wilson said he is working on menu upgrades at the Tam O’ Shanter, a restaurant the family opened in 1922 that is believed to be one of the oldest in Los Angeles to operate continuously at the same location. Prime rib will remain the focus of that menu, Wilson said, but he is adding more entrée salads, burger and sandwiches at different price points.

“I think it’s a trend we’re seeing and something we learned with SideDoor. You can still build a great dining experience and check average if you give guests more price points to choose from,” said Wilson.

Contact Lisa Jennings at lisa.jennings@penton.com.
Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout