#SteakHouse #restaurant January 28

I started the Coach4aday blog in 2014 and have done daily posts on one topic for each year. In 2014 my daily posts were on the “Beer of the Day”, 2015 it was “A Friend of a Friend”, 2016 I wrote about “North Carolina”, and in 2017 it was “Colleges and Universities”.

The one consistent piece of feedback I have received with this blog is the 2015 series on “A Friend of a Friend”. Readers and blog followers said please bring it back. The stats also back that up with the number of views each of those posts received.

So in 2018 two things will happen with the Coach4aday blog; One I plan to collaborate with a friend named John Rancke and revisit some of those 2015 “A Friend of a Friend” posts and do some new ones with a slightly different twist. I write the blog post on odd numbered days and John handles even numbered days.

In addition John and I will write about things we both are interested which will include basketball, food, people, music, our granddaughters, and great stories.

If you want to follow the blog via email go to the bottom right of the post and click the follow button.

My twitter handle is @coach4aday2 if you want to follow the blog that way.

John’s twitter handle is @JohnRancke if you want to reach out to him.

January 28, 2018      Steak and Ale

By John Rancke

Remember the signature herb-roasted prime rib, the dimly lit dining rooms, the Kensington club, Hawaiian chicken, the unlimited salad bar, and the honey wheat bread (known as squaw bread until Native Americans protested).

Hawaiian Chicken

Hawaiian Chicken

Rumors are it’s coming back but you gotta be in Mexico to enjoy that prime rib.

Steak and Ale 1

Steak and Ale 2

Steak and Ale was founded in 1966 in Dallas as an independent chain. It remained independent until 1976 when Pillsbury purchased the chain’s 113 restaurants and threw it into their restaurant group which already included Bennigan’s and Burger King. In 1982, Pillsbury took Steak and Ale and Bennigan’s into their S&A family. Steak and Ale grew to more than 280 restaurants but the success was short lived. The copycats arrived and eroded Steak and Ales market share. It was sold again in 1988 and merged in 1993 with Bonanza (remember them) and Ponderosa steak houses. The end came in 2008 with bankruptcy for Steak and Ale. Ponderosa and Bonanza survived. In the mid-1980’s there were close to 300 locations nationwide.

In 2115, a new management agreement was signed and in 2017, the Bennigan’s website began soliciting new franchise owners for Steak and Ale. Who knows where this will lead.


There was a Steak and Ale in Raleigh that overlooked Crabtree Valley Mall. A young couple in Wake County that couldn’t afford the Angus Barn could go to Steak and Ale and eat like royalty. The wine samples for 25 cents made the evening that much more regal. Link below to story when it closed.


Steak and Ale filled a gap in American dining. Many former employees and management of the chain went on to major positions in other restaurants across America.

In areas of the country that were sensitive to the term Ale in the name, the name Jolly Ox was used .

Steak and Ale was the Outback of their time and left a lot of us hungry for their french onion soup and mushrooms with the sirloin steak.

I borrowed this review of Steak and Ale off the comments section of a YouTube video. I think it sums up the appeal of Steak and Ale:

Yeah Steak and Ale was more than just a great place for Prime Rib (as good as any high $$$ place) it was the #1 place for a first date (at least where I lived) prices were cheap girls thought it was fancy but it was laid back also plus fill there belly up with that salad bar, LOL. Not to mention middle class Americans it was a way to throw a steak down the wife’s throat and not kill the budget. Why am I single?

Let us know what old dining establishments do you miss?


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