By Karina Ramírez / Staff Writer
Chef Tim Love told his mother, Margaret Love, that he was going to name his new restaurant after her.
“It was Christmas morning,” Margaret Love said Thursday. “It was one of my Christmas presents. He gave me a tray with the name of the restaurant on it. It was quite a surprise.”
Love’s new concept at 115 E. Hickory St. in downtown Denton will be called Queenie’s Steakhouse. The name “Queenie” is his mother’s nickname. The restaurant will open for business April 4.
In late October, Love announced he was permanently closing the Love Shack, a burger restaurant opened just 18 months earlier at the same location. The purpose, he said, was to redesign and renovate the space to introduce his new steakhouse.
“This is originally what we wanted to do, to build a steakhouse,” Love said. “And then we felt like company-wise, where we were at and economy-wise, all the things did not seem right, so we switched halfway through and made it the Love Shack. It did not feel like the right time.”
Love said the Love Shack was doing fine financially, but building and opening his steakhouse was always the plan.
“Now it is the time to do it, and the response has been tremendous,” he said.
As for the renovated 3,600-square-foot building, it retained its frame and interior.
Love along with his wife, Emilie, then created a very intimate concept. There is no trace of the old restaurant. The renovated dining area now features rustic elegance with white-covered tables, leather chairs and a decorated table complete with a floral centerpiece. Long curtain panels are now part of the decor as well as sets of string lights.
The exterior also changed.
“The idea of it was to make it like you are walking up to this beautiful wooden jewel box,” Love said, describing the exterior changes that now feature light-colored cedar panels. “It certainly is not your grandfather’s steakhouse.”
The restaurant will open for limited hours — Friday for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and 4:30 to 11 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday for dinner. Sunday brunch will be added in the future, Love said.
The staff tending to future guests will be the same.
“They are going to know you and know you by name,” Love said. “That is the level of service that we want. We are going to know exactly what you drink and how you take your meat.”
The restaurant will employ 30 people in full-time positions, Love said. The employees were trained at Lonesome Dove in Fort Worth, a restaurant he opened in Cowtown’s historic Stockyards district in 2000.
“We are really big on happy hour. We are going to do complimentary hors d’oeuvres that would be made fresh and different everyday and have a classic American cocktails list. We also have three different kinds of ice that will be made with each cocktail,” Love said about some of the items available at the renovated restaurant. “We have our own tequila coming out in April to go along with the opening.”
Burgundy’s was the last steakhouse in the downtown area and it closed about four years ago, said Julie Glover, Denton’s economic development program administrator.
“Burgundy’s suffered from the harsh economic times,” Glover said. “I am excited about getting a steakhouse in the downtown area. I think it will be good for the area.”
To help promote the new restaurant, Love presented the “Hard Hat” Hartford Wine Dinner on March 5, when clients were served a five-course wine-pairing dinner. The dinner also included a Queenie’s dessert tasting. All of the course selections that evening were accompanied with Hartford Court wines.
Slots for the wine dinner sold out in four hours, Love said.
Prior to the grand opening April 4, Love will conduct special events for family and friends. He is also planning another wine dinner.
“Last time we had 50 people on the waiting list,” he said. “So that is why we are going to announce another date [for the wine dinner].”
In preparation for the grand opening, Love is already taking reservations. On Open Table, an online reservations and review website, Queenie’s price range is listed as $31 to $50. Guests can select their date, time and party size.
His mother believes her son’s new restaurant concept will work in Denton.
“Everything he had done has been very successful,” Margaret Love said. “I am just very excited, and of course, very proud of him.”
KARINA RAMÍREZ can be reached at 940-566-6878. Her e-mail address is email@example.com .
WHAT TO KNOW
115 E. Hickory St.
On the Web: www.facebook.com/Queenies