Restaurant Titans Descend on Primehouse for a Night

The Mount Olympus of steakhouses?Photo: Ryan Mesina

Heres the thing about restaurateurs: They dont really care about who has the best ramen in the East Village. Theyre not really that interested in where Paul Liebrandts restaurant will be, and they find avant-garde desserts about as compelling as algebra. But when Steve Hanson opens a restaurant? That, that is something theyre interested in. The fine art of making money via replicable concept restaurants is one at which Hanson is an acknowledged master, and that helps to explain why the main room at Primehouse last Thursday looked like a whos who of big-time restaurateurs.

At one table, Jeffrey Chodorow dined with David and Penny Glazier, owners of seven Strip Houses, Monkey Bar, and Michael Jordans; at another Stephen Starr, of Buddakan and Morimoto fame, not to mention practically every good restaurant in Philadelphia; at yet another, Rich Melman of Lettuce Entertain You, with 31 restaurants on his roster; millionaire club owner and hotelier Sam Nazarian occupied still another. Weve said it before, and well say it again: Steakhouses are the perfect restaurant, and wed be willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that everyone present was working on a steakhouse of his own (in the case of Chodorow, thats already been established). Steakhouses like Primehouse dont make steak; they make money. And for the true barons of the business, thats something worth checking out.