Center City Philadelphia’s steakhouse scene lost a stalwart over the holidays with the closing of Morton’s, upstairs at 1411 Walnut St.
But by April, the number will tick back up with the opening of Steak 48.
Steak 48, a family run, Scottsdale, Ariz.-based steakhouse with locations in Houston and Chicago, will encompass the spaces occupied formerly by both Ted’s Montana Grill and Ruth’s Chris in the Atlantic Building at Broad and Spruce Streets, across from the Kimmel Center.
For its vastness over 12,000 square feet, the operators are stressing intimacy, with smaller dining rooms and a mezzanine creating more personal experiences.
Brothers Jeff and Mike Mastro and business partner Scott Trolio also own three other restaurants in Arizona — a seafooder called Ocean 44 and a steakhouse called Dominick’s in Scottsdale, as well as Steak 44 in Phoenix. The Mastros made the meatery scene nearly 20 years ago with the Mastro’s Steakhouse and Mastro’s Ocean Club brands, now owned by Landry’s, parent company of Morton’s.
Here’s what you should know:
Chef Robert Watson, a native of Philadelphia, worked at the Warwick Hotel and Cutter’s back in the day. He now works for Steak 44, another Mastro-owned steakhouse in Scottsdale.
The steakhouse was launched as Steak 44, after its address on North 44th Street in Phoenix. Subsequent locations were called Steak 48 in homage to Arizona’s being the 48th state.
This location, a 450-seater in more than 12,000 square feet, will resemble Steak 48′s Chicago location. Large windows will look out to Broad Street.
Judith Testani of Testani Design Troupe is also installing a floor-to ceiling glass expo kitchen and is leaving original architectural detail at 260 S. Broad St., which was built a century ago as the offices of Atlantic Richfield Oil Refining Co. (Chief brand officer Oliver Badgio says the original steel girders of the building have been exposed and covered in a coat of lacquer paint.)
“Bold art,” “intimate layout,” “sexy design,” “luxury personal service” are among adjectives being tossed out.
Menu will include some items unique to Philadelphia, as well as steakhouse standards.
Smaller side dishes will be offered to encourage patrons to sample more foods.
Wine list will include more than four dozen by the glass and 650 by the bottle.
300 full- and part-time workers will be hired.
A series of preview evenings will send 100 percent of check proceeds to support five Philadelphia charities.
A little history for the space at the Atlantic Building, at the northwest corner of Broad and Spruce: Before it was Ted’s Montana Grill, which ran from 2006 till late 2011, it was Avenue B, a splashy restaurant owned by Neil Stein that had a 2½-year run from 2000 to 2003; Bonaparte, a French American-themer that lasted only eight months, from May 1998 till January 1999; and Joseph’s on the Avenue, an Italian restaurant that crashed and burned after only four months in 1998.
Ruth’s Chris occupied the other half of the ground floor from its opening in 1988 — when that slice of Broad Street was more like the Avenue of the Tarts than the Avenue of the Arts — till 2016. Ruth’s Chris is now at the Sonesta, at 18th and Market Streets.