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New management, renewed focus breathing new life into Eddie Montgomery's Steakhouse in Harrodsburg

March 07, 2013|by JENNIFER BRUMMETT | jbrummett@amnews.com
  • The staff at Eddie Montgomery's Steakhouse.
Jennifer Brummett

HARRODSBURG - New management and a renewed focus on its original mission statement is breathing fresh air in to Eddie Montgomery’s Steakhouse.

Jerry Houck took over as general manager in late December and since then has been “working to build the staff up to a level of service required to manage a restaurant of this caliber.”

“The current staff have been very open to new ideas, new directions, different points of view and some drastic changes to the way they work on a daily basis. I have worked on training, retraining and teaching the staff the importance of customer service, food preparation and execution, server training, bar training, and an overall improvement of the Eddie Montgomery’s Steakhouse experience,” Houck explained. “Change is hard but is necessary to make the restaurant live up to its potential. The staff is dedicated to the overall improvement and has been willing to go the extra mile to make things better.”

The restaurant is owned by Eddie Montgomery and Tracy Nunan. Though neither actively manages on the floor of the restaurant, both are involved with the future of the restaurant, Houck said.

“Neither of them having been in the restaurant business prior to Eddie Montgomery’s Steakhouse, they left much of the daily activities up to a management staff,” Houck explained. “Over the last three years, some of this worked and some did not. While the restaurant bears the name Eddie Montgomery and the vision for the restaurant was very clear, some of the execution has not been to the level they had hoped.

“I was hired in November to bring that vision back to the forefront. I bring over 20 years of experience in the restaurant business in the area and am well known for my work in the food industry statewide. I love Eddie Montgomery’s Steakhouse and always have admired the facility. Eddie and Tracy have always been good friends to me and my family of friends. That close friendship with both of them helped bring me to the restaurant. But most of all, I decided to come to Eddie Montgomery’s Steakhouse because I knew the food was prepared fresh, which is important to me, and the restaurant had the potential to be a great restaurant and great asset to our community. I want to see it be successful.

The restaurant began restructuring and retraining in November to create a better dining and entertainment experience, Houck said.

“Over the last two and for the next two months, we will be introducing new menu items, new hours of operation, new entertainment and some new staff. A new leadership team was introduced right after the new year, bringing together all of the different departments — kitchen, bar, service, reservations and entertainment — in order to better listen to the needs of the staff as well as the requests from our customers,” he explained. “Additional training and the need to upgrade each of these departments was necessary in order to improve the overall Eddie Montgomery’s Steakhouse experience.

“New to the restaurant will be Thursday night entertainment where one group will be featured from 7 to 10 p.m. all month. We will also be working to bring back some of the favorite groups to the main stage on Friday and Saturday.”

The menu has seen changes, too. The restaurant offers a ½ fried chicken on Thursday nights, prime rib dinner on Friday nights, and 12-ounce hand-cut ribeye on Saturday nights.

“We also offer a sampler appetizer platter,” Houck added. “We will soon unveil our new lunch menu, after hours menu and lower priced supplemental dinner menu.”

Houck said these changes were made because the steakhouse had gotten away from its main goal: “To be a restaurant that offers the best homemade food, paired with a large selection of drinks and bring awesome entertainment to the area.”

“This is a state-of-the-art facility that is unparalleled in central Kentucky and the facility alone is enough to make you want to come and visit.  But, while visiting we want our customers to experience the best food, drink and entertainment in the area,” he added.

Ultimately, Houck and the staff at the restaurant want to improve the overall experience for the dining visitors as well as “streamline the entertainment and create an atmosphere that will entice a resurgence of the local crowds from Mercer and surrounding counties to want to make a visit  to Eddie Montgomery’s Steakhouse a regular part of their weekly going out schedule.”

“A visit to Eddie Montgomery’s Steakhouse should be spectacular from any direction —   the facility, the food, the service and the music,” Houck said.

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