The Texas Steakout – From then to now
The Texas Steakout is without a doubt one of the most established and appreciated restaurants in Limerick. We sat down with Margret Enright and the team who established the Steakout to learn more about the restaurants history and how exactly it came to be one of Limerick’s finest eateries.
The Texas Steakout Restaurant is located in the basement of 116 O’Connell Street, a gorgeous setting for a restaurant with original stone brickwork giving that warm homely feel, accompanied by an age-old fireplace. You can sense the character of the setting the second you walk through the doors. Although the inviting atmosphere and the mouth-watering menu selections is something you come to expect from the Texas Steakout a lot of work has gone into making the Texas Steakout what it is today.
The Texas Steakout first opened in 1989 as a much smaller restaurant that seated just sixty customers. The team at the Steakout wanted to be sure that they were bringing something new and different to the restaurant scene in the region and with that idea in mind they decided to open a Texan themed steak house.
‘’What was really different about the Steakout was that obviously we had a theme. We were serving really hearty American style dinners, so at the time there was nothing like it.” Along with the Texan themed menu options was the great attention to theme incorporated into the décor. Once the theme was decided the hunt for memorabilia commenced and all of the charming Texan figures and ornaments that are in the restaurant today have adorned the walls since 1989.
The decision to open such a unique style of restaurant in the heart of Limerick City during a time where dining out certainly wasn’t popular was a daring move, but indeed a move that captures the essence of the Steakout; taking a good idea and making it work. ‘’We never relented on quality and service. It wasn’t a case of it can’t be done, it’s always been it will be done.’’ The team at the Texas Steakout pulled out all the stops to ensure the restaurant would become well known and loved. Staying with the Texas theme of the antique ornaments every table was covered with classic American chequered tablecloths while each waitress dressed head to toe as an American cowgirl. Limerick had no other place like it at the time and it was most definitely a drastic step away from the norm but it simply added to the already endearing nature of the restaurant and began to draw the crowds. It is safe to say that the Steakout did everything they could to build their customer numbers, ‘’We even had a float in the St. Paddy’s Day parade too just to promote ourselves and be out there. We also brought a fake life sized stuffed buffalo and planked him outside the door, it was all to get the place recognised.’’
After years of grafting to build their customer base during the harsh time of a recession all of the hardwork began to pay off and work began on the first of the Texas Steakout’s many extensions throughout the years.
There will soon be an unveiling of yet another extension as they expand the underground establishment even further along O’Connell street to meet the amount of customers looking to experience the delights that the Texas Steakout has to offer.
The Steakout now seats 280 people in a gorgeous relaxed eating environment. The Steakout prides themselves on their devoted and dedicated staff as well as the food that is served each and every day. The menu at the Steakout is bursting with variety, ranging from he highest quality steaks to Mexican dishes, speciality chicken dishes and vegetarian options. When you dine at the Texas Steakout you are ensured to enjoy a substantial meal just as if it were from your own kitchen at home, with fresh produce being prepared every day. ‘’We pride ourselves in saying that we don’t even have a can opener. Every soup and every sauce is made from scratch, with the vegetables coming in the door every single day.’‘ The Texas Steakout is renowned for it’s glorious food and attention to service and detail and that is indeed all because of the loyal and dedicated staff. ‘’We’ve had changes but our core chefs are still here, they are irreplaceable. The ribs you’ll eat today are the very same ribs you would have ate in 1989, with the very same recipe. I think it’s that consistency and variety on the menu that are vital. There are dishes on the menu since we opened and we just cannot take them off. We even tried taking them away at one point and people wanted it all back.’’
The team at the Texas Steakout have an extremely high regard for every staff member working in the restaurant, both front of house and behind the scenes in the kitchen. Although the staff are vital to the Steakout it was imperative to note during our chat that the customers are what makes the Texas Steakout what a success it is today. ‘’Of course the customers are so valuable, they’re our audience and that’s what its all about. All along it has been a family restaurant. We would see people going out together in the restaurant who got engaged, married, would then come in with their kids, and now their kids have had kids who come in. So thankfully we’ve managed to keep each generation coming back to us for more.”
There are a lot of exciting things on the horizon for the Texas Steakout, it is clear that the team at the Steakout are continuously wanting to improve every aspect of the restaurant and to keep evolving as social and eating trends advance. ‘’What I love is that we have the ability to adapt. I’m so proud of the fact that we adapted to recessions, menus, eating habits. We can adapt and still be on top.’’
As a parting note we were once again brought back to discussing the restaurant’s customer base and how every single member of staff holds it in such high esteem. “I would like our customers to know of the value we have for them and the huge thanks and respect for our staff too. We’re not the Texas Steakout, we provide the wheels and everyone else drives the car.”
The Texas Steakout
116 O’Connell Street, Limerick
12pm – 10:30pm
12:30pm – 10:00pm
Bookings available by phone at 061 414 440
Or online at www.texassteakout.com
Words – Cornelia O’Riordan
Images – Tarmo Tulit