Ralph Lewis is all about steak. But for the past two-and-a-half years, Lewis also has been all about location – in an under-the-radar sort of way. That is, Lewis has been looking at locations to expand his West Palm Beach-based Okeechobee Steakhouse empire that includes Okeechobee Prime Seafood, Okeechobee Prime Meat Market and Okeechobee Prime BBQ. Approximately six months ago, he found his spot – in Jupiter on the footprint that had been occupied for 34 years by Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant.
Lewis closed on the purchase just a few weeks ago, paving the way for Lewis Steakhouse to tentatively open this coming November at the corner of Indiantown Road and Central.
“I’ve been thinking about opening another steakhouse location for five or six years,’’ said Lewis, who has plans to open more steakhouses in the next 30 months. “It just took time to find the right location. I knew I didn’t want to go south. I’d been looking in Jupiter for about two-and-half years.’’
Jamie Steinbrecher, the longtime executive chef at Okeechobee Steakhouse, will serve in the same role at Lewis Steakhouse. The menu at Lewis Steakhouse, Lewis said, will be approximately “80 percent’’ the same as the original location, with a few upscale additions. All of the dry-aging processes – a staple of each of Okeechobee Steakhouse steak – will remain at Okeechobee Steakhouse.
“We obviously can’t replicate a 75-year-old building or 75-year-old business – that’s why we’re calling it ‘Lewis Steakhouse.’’’ Lewis said. “People can expect the same great steaks and same great service. We’ll bring the culture from Okeechobee Steakhouse and the majority of the menu – but we’ll have a little flair.’’
On the subject of flair, while Lewis is working to open his new steakhouse, he also has been working toward next year’s 75th anniversary of Okeechobee Steakhouse, which his grandparents started as a drive-in in what was then the outskirts of West Palm Beach. As part of the celebration, which will begin in mid-January, Lewis is working with WhistlePig on a rye, and with Garrison Brothers Distillery on a single-barrel whiskey. Each will have a label commemorating the Diamond Jubilee of Okeechobee Steakhouse. Lewis also is planning exclusive California wines for the occasion.
In the meantime, Lewis Steakhouse will be Lewis’ second new full-service restaurant opening in less than one year. He launched Okeechobee Prime Seafood this past March. Okeechobee Prime Meat Market debuted in 2018, and the pop-up Okeechobee Prime BBQ opened in 2019 for service in Friday through Sunday.
“I’m very confident (Lewis Steakhouse) will work and very busy,’’ he said. “And I’m very confident that there is a need in that area. I wanted to be in an area where I felt there was a really big demand for a fine-dining restaurant.’’
Photo Credit: Okeechobee Steakhouse