It’s only the beginning of summer, but Ralph Lewis already is looking to the end of summer and into early fall. That’s when he projects the newest additions to his family-owned Okeechobee Steakhouse in West Palm Beach will open – the 1947 Gourmet Market & Meat Shop, and 1947 Catering.
Each of the ambitious projects (and new parking areas) will allow Okeechobee Steakhouse to expand business beyond its iconic 70-year-old Steakhouse.
Named for the year Lewis’ parents founded Okeechobee Steakhouse, the 1947 Gourmet Market & Meat Shop will be housed in a 1,400 square-foot building just across the street from the Steakhouse’s Okeechobee Blvd., location.
“We’ll have all the steaks that we sell here,’’ Lewis said recently over lunch at the Steakhouse. “And we’re going to sell a lot more. We’re going to bring in things such as some high-end ham, some dry-aged pork roast and some dry-aged lamb chops and veal.’’
The renovation of the nearly 7,000 square-foot 1947 Catering building behind the Steakhouse, Lewis said, will give him four times the dry-aging capacity is it has now.
“We’re going to move all of our meat-cutting over there, along with the desserts and bakery,’’ Lewis said.
The catering building also will feature two new kitchen lines, two new dry-aging coolers and a “venue room’’ with a seating capacity for approximately 100 guests.
“We’ve always done catering, but we’ve had to limit it to certain events and certain types of menus, because we’ve always been so busy at the Steakhouse,’’ Lewis said. “This creates an extra avenue for our guests because we’ll be able to do more extensive catering.’’