Business profile: Texas Steakout

From then to now

The Texas Steakout is without a doubt one of the most established and appreciated restaurants in Limerick, known for the juiciest steaks and friendliest staff, an array of delicious menu options, fine cocktails and craft beers are always on offer and their loyal customers keep on returning. The Texas Steakout is one of the first Limerick restaurants that changed dining culture in the City and continues to go above, beyond and lead in Limerick’s culinary culture. We sit down for tea with Margaret Enright who ensured the restaurant is the name everyone in the region recognises.

The Texas Steakout is located in the basement of 116 O’Connell Street, the setting is authentic with the 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 sixty customers. The team wanted to be sure that they were bringing something new and different to the restaurant scene in Limerick 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.” Margaret tells us. Along with the Texan themed menu options, was the attention to detail which was incorporated into the décor and uniforms that the staff wore. 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 yet it was a daring move. Yet is was 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 American cowgirls. 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 brought a fake life sized stuffed buffalo and plonked 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 hard work began to pay off and work began on the first of the Texas Steakout’s many extensions throughout the years. Business was booming, and the Texas Steakout went from seating 60 people to 280 people.

We ask Margaret what she is most proud of to which she tells us, “We pride ourselves on our dedicated staff as well as the food that is served each and every day. The menu at The Texas Steakout is bursting with variety, ranging from the highest quality steaks to Mexican dishes, speciality chicken dishes and vegetarian options. When you dine at The Texas Steakout you are sure 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. We have 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 eaten 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 customers insisted on us putting them 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 and state that their customers are what makes The Texas Steakout what a success it is today. ”Our customers are so valuable, they’re our audience and that’s what it’s 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, how lovely is that?”

There are a lot of exciting things on the horizon for The Texas Steakout, it is clear that the team 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.’’

“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, the team are not “The Texas Steakout, we provide the wheels and everyone else drives the car.” Margaret sincerely adds, “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, the team are not “The Texas Steakout, we provide the wheels and everyone else drives the car.”

The Texas Steakout 116 O’Connell Street

Open Monday – Saturday 12pm – 10:30pm

Sunday 12:30pm – 10:00pm

Bookings available 061-414440

www.texassteakout.com

Article by Cornelia O’Riordan

Photography by Tarmo Tulit