It's not difficult to feel right at home when visiting The Town Club Steak and Seafood Restaurant in Highland.
Owner Mark Hines makes it a point to make sure guests are cordially welcomed to the eatery. In fact, he's often on hand to greet diners and if he's not, there's always a friendly face to take his place.
With his menu, Hines said he wants to continue to offer excellence and also variety.
"We have something for everyone," he said, about Town Club's fare.
While they specialize in seafood and steaks, guests will also find various specials at the restaurant and can enjoy everything from sandwiches and burgers to salads and ribs.
The Town Club, currently celebrating its 67th anniversary, has been owned by Dyer native Hines and his wife Tina for the past 17 years. The eatery was originally established in 1947.
Hines, who is the restaurant's fourth owner, said in a past interview that although Town Club hasn't been operated by the same family through the years, it is "the oldest restaurant under one name, under one roof in Northwest Indiana."
Among customer favorites at the restaurant are prime rib, lake perch, frog legs, barbecued ribs, ribeye steaks and donut shrimp. Town Club's donut shrimp is best described as shrimp which has the inside and outside veins taken out. When the shrimp is fried, it curls and turns out shaped like a donut.
The barbecued ribs ($21.95) are flavored with a special dry rub which Hines said is inspired by a friend's family recipe and dates back 50 years.
"We were also the first ones 3 years ago to introduce a 30-ounce bone-in ribeye for $37.95 for the whole dinner. Other restaurants just don't have it (a special like that) or it's all priced separately," he said.
Another special feature at the restaurant is the popular Lobsta Fest dinner, which was recently held in early February.
Hines said everything at the restaurant is made from scratch. Fresh, quality ingredients are of utmost importance to Hines.
"I also don't have any farm-raised fish here," he said, adding he serves fish that have been caught fresh every week.
We visited Town Club on a recent Friday for lunch. The eatery, which was recently remodeled, proved a serene choice for a good late afternoon lunch.
The interior, decorated by Hines' wife Tina, had a warm, inviting look with browns, burnished reds, tans and golds throughout. Art work hangs on the walls and the decor has rustic winery-looking inspirations.
Lunch items ordered were Tomato Blues ($6.95), a colorful salad featuring Beefsteak Tomatoes, red onions and bleu cheese; and lake perch, ($8.95 for the special lunch portion.)
The salad, which was a good-sized entree salad, starred a light olive oil based dressing and the tomatoes proved sweet and juicy. The perch meal featured three perch filets and my choice of potato, which was baked. A cup of delicately spiced clam chowder preceded the perch meal.
While lunch entrees don't come with Town Club's relish trio, all dinners come with various relishes. A children's menu is also featured.
Among other items guests will find on the restaurant's menu are sandwiches such as "Talk of the Town," ($9.95) which is a huge chicken breast smothered in Swiss cheese and topped with ham and honey-mustard sauce; the "Big Bertha," ($7.95), which is roast beef and cheese; Scallops ($18.95 for dinner); The Town Club Seafood Pasta ($15.95 for dinner); and Surf and Turf ($29.95 for dinner).
Guests visiting Town Club will also find it has a type of retro and friendly "supper club" atmosphere. Diners will definitely feel welcome.
FYI: Town Club Steak and Seafood Restaurant is at 2904 45th St., Highland. Call (219) 924-5227 or visit townclubon45th.com. The restaurant opens at 11 a.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. Call for more information.