According to Popville, there’s a new restaurant coming to downtown D.C. just south of Dupont Circle. It’s part of a high-end chain called STK. It’s a steakhouse geared towards women. That’s right, a woman-friendly steakhouse. Because the Palm and Capital Grille were too … intimidating?
Here’s the concept (from the website and as noted by Popville):
STK artfully blends two concepts into one—the modern steakhouse and a chic lounge. The restaurant’s signature DNA includes plaster cast horns, curvilinear black platform seats and a palette of black gloss and cream. A large central lounge area is furnished with creamy leather banquettes and textured crocodile tiles, and is surrounded by an elevated dining room for more formal dining. Theatrical lights illuminate each table, while smoky mirrors allow patrons to catch a glimpse of the surroundings while a DJ creates an energetic vibe throughout the entire space.
As anticipated, steak is the main attraction. With a female-friendly mindset, STK offers small, medium and large cuts of meat, as well as naturally raised options and market fresh fish entrees. Aside from steak, signature items include Parmesan Truffle Fries; Lil’ BRGs; Shrimp Rice Krispies; Sweet Corn Pudding; and Jump Lump Crab Salad.
Theatrical lights illuminate each table, while smoky mirrors allow patrons to catch a glimpse of the surroundings while a DJ creates an energetic vibe throughout the entire space. Gotta have that energetic vibe! STK is a great fit … for Las Vegas. Washington, on the other hand, remains a town of fat-cat lobbyists with expense accounts. They don’t want a DJ creating an energetic vibe and couldn’t care less about plaster cast horns. And it’s not like the nearby steakhouses don’t offer “small, medium and large cuts of meat.”
Is there a market for steakhouses catering to women? The answer is a qualified yes, considering STK can be found in Las Vegas, London, Miami, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and New York. But the clientele in Washington is distinct. Washington is not New York, for better and for worse. It’s why a place like the Buddha Bar (which is legendary in Paris) failed here. Know your clientele! Take, for instance, the renovated Morton’s on Connecticut Avenue, which went from dark-wood paneling to black and shiny surfaces, mirrors, and gaudy furnishings. A lawyer at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, which is in the same building as Morton’s, tells me many of his colleagues have started going elsewhere. (Morton’s has other problems under the Landry’s regime, including menu changes, new staff, and quality-portion issues.)
I’ve often insisted that my hometown of Toms River, NJ, needs a place like Clyde’s or the Old Ebbitt Grill. But a Jersey friend of mine (now living in Dallas) reminds me it would never work because much of the populace is either retired or blue collar, often both. That’s why there’s no Whole Foods or Balducci’s there either and still only two Starbucks. It’s just not their scene or their price point. I imagine after a glitzy opening, the same will apply to STK. (Plus there is simply a glut of steakhouses here—does anyone remember Nick & Stef’s? Angelo & Maxie’s? Maloney & Porcelli?)
Hat tip: Sonny Bunch