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Steak or Mistake?
You're going to go to Richard’s, because you've been going there forever. Opened July 1st, 1969, “The Original Bombay Cuisine” maintains what must be its original décor and is the perfect place to go for a classic, manly, meat-and-potatoes meal or stiff drinks with your leathery golfing buddies.
According to the bartender, the tagline stems from the house drink special made with Bombay Sapphire gin, which had just been introduced at the time of Richard's grand opening. They no longer make the special (a cocktail onion, tom olive, and marinated mushroom left to macerate in three martini’s worth of Bombay gin- all for $7), but the other drinks are stiff, reasonably priced, and served by the charming bartender.
Richard’s bar is a cool place to go when you’re feeling like wearing your gold lame blouse and matching wedge heels, yet want to blend in to your surroundings. The bar features gauzy portraits of bare-chested maidens, standing in front of breezy seascapes or lounging on their tummies. There’s ample seating at the bar (where you can play lotto!) but also tables and booths to accommodate larger groups. If all the boozing makes you peckish, you can order food in the bar and watch the game on TV.
Cuisine at Richard’s is certainly not original, but reliable and tasty. Serving both lunch and dinner, the specialty of the house is, well, meat. There’s also a wide election of bar food apps and seafood: fried prawns, mushrooms, shrimp cocktail. The prime rib is popular, as is the $35 dinner-for two special which includes salad, garlic bread, your choice of steak, beans, and potato.
The salad is served drowning in dressing, but you’re not there for the salad. You’re there for the meat that will be served hot and as you requested it (skillfully cut on the premises), by a highly competent if somewhat snarky wait staff that has been there forever. You will be called “honey” or “sweetheart” or “darling”, and your beans will taste like bacon, regardless of whether you ordered green or chili. You will choose the baked option for your potato, because then the silent busboy will come around and give you a potato topping bar with bacon bits, chives, and sour cream. You will be too stuffed to consider dessert.
As a sign above the bar reads, “If you’re out of money, you’re out of Richard’s.” Dinner for two can easily run $60 with a couple of drinks. Lunch is a more economical option, starting at $7.95 for a sandwich. Standard well drinks are $3.50-$4.50, top shelf slightly more. In a town overrun by fast food and chain restaurants, Richard’s is most definitely an original. If you’ve never been, go there now.
Richard’s Steak and Seafood is located at 1609 E. Belmont Ave., just west of Blackstone. Lunch: Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner: Monday through Saturday from 4 to 10 p.m. Phone: 266-4077.