Skip navigation

Del Frisco’s Grille eyes expansion

Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group has opened the second unit of its smaller, more casual Del Frisco’s Grille in Dallas.

The company opened the first unit of the concept in New York in August, and divulged plans for additional Grille restaurants in Phoenix and Washington, D.C.

Mark S. Mednansky, chief executive of the Southlake, Texas-based company, said Del Frisco’s is nearing leases for the Grille in at least one additional city. The company is also considering offering breakfast in the Washington location and plans to offer weekend brunch, a first for the steakhouse operator.

“In D.C. we’re going to do morning. We think this will be the first time we do breakfast,” Mednansky said. “There’s a need for a great power breakfast in D.C. where we’re going. So we’re going to have breakfast, we’re going to have brunch, lunch, dinner and late-night. With this brand, I think we’re going to experiment with a whole bunch of dayparts.”

In Dallas, the 8,100-square-foot restaurant seats about 230 on two levels, each with its own bar, Mednansky said. The two bars distinguish the restaurant from the original, which opened in New York City’s Rockefeller Center.

“We’re going to stay with two bars, but in Phoenix, we’re going upstairs. We’re going to do a rooftop bar,” Mednansky told Nation’s Restaurant News on the Dallas unit’s opening day.

Watch a video of Mark Mednansky talking about the new unit; story continues below

Continued from page 1

The Phoenix location will have about 7,900 square feet and the Washington unit will have about 8,000 square feet, he said. The Grille will seat 220 to 230 customers.

“We think the perfect size for this concept is right around 7,500 to 8,500 square feet,” Mednansky said. “That’s about half the size of Del Frisco’s, so that really opens the world for us. Right now we have signed deals for D.C. — an incredible site on Pennsylvania Avenue, just down from the White House, and in Phoenix, Ariz., at 24th Street and Camelback.”

Mednansky said the concept is evolving, but that it complements the company’s nine Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouses and 20 Sullivan’s Steakhouses well.

“We think we are going to fit the same guest that goes to Del Frisco’s here at the Grille. This is on their off night. People come join us for a business dinner. They come join us for a birthday or anniversary. Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday night when they were going to a Houston’s or a P.F. Chang’s, now they can come to the Grille,” he said.

“They are still coming to part of the family. They are still getting Del Frisco’s quality. They are still getting our great hospitality, but at a lower price point. This could be the minor leagues, in a way, while the food is spectacular and the service is spectacular, you build up until you get to the big house at Del Frisco’s.”

The New York unit offers 700 wines, including 22 by the glass, as well as beer on tap.

“We really want people to have a bottle of wine with dinner,” he said, adding that he hopes the Grille will be “wine-centric.”

Wine sales have pushed check averages past the $60 to $65 that were originally anticipated at the New York location, he added. A Del Frisco’s steakhouse has a typical check average of about $110.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected].
Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.