Texas staple Saltgrass Steak House's new Tyler location opened for lunch on Tuesday, June 6, but its story was 12 years in the making.
"The owner of Landry's (Saltgrass' parent company) has four sons, who played baseball," said Ken Pierce, Vice President of Operations. "They would come to Tyler for games back in 2005, and that was when we first began looking at Tyler as a location. So for a long time, Tyler has been in the works, and we've said ‘Oh, it's going to happen.'"
Founded in Houston in 1991, Saltgrass has restaurants in seven states, but its menu remains focused on traditional Texas food. Pierce says they are best known for their famous ribeye steaks and chicken Laredo, as well as Texas classics like beer bread, ribs, baked potatoes, and their signature Ranch Rattlers - a fried jalapeño stuffed with a jumbo shrimp, jack cheese, and bell pepper.
"I really like working for a concept with such great food that I still look forward to eating at Saltgrass even after 21 years," Pierce said. "It's something special. Not everyone has that."
The restaurant's facade is based on the Alamo in San Antonio, and its whole layout and decor is an homage to the Texas Hill Country.
"It's all representative of trail rides, the Old West, and rodeos," Pierce said. "The name, Saltgrass, comes from the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, the trail they used to take to Galveston."
It has seating for 260 customers, a private dining room, and a full bar - the No Bull Lounge, larger than the bar at any other location. It has a full staff of 120 employees, but Pierce says "We're always looking for great people."
Saltgrass is located at 7214 S Broadway Ave in Tyler, and will be open Sundays through Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, call 903-561-8316.