CROWN POINT | Two new eateries are set to join the downtown dining scene, one featuring steak, the other barbecue.
Owner Theodoros Klideris said he plans to open Prime Steak House later this month at 109 W. Joliet St. The space is currently named Amore Ristorante.
The lower level of the former Lake County Criminal Courts building, 220 S. Main St. will open as Smokey's Basement BBQ, also by the end of the month, owner Fred Laud said.
Klideris, owner of Theo's Steaks and Seafood in Highland, said he plans to bring a similar style menu to the 109 W. Joliet St. restaurant, which he bought in January.
"Steakhouses are our passion, and that's what we'd like to bring here to the square," Klideris said. "We've mastered cutting and aging steaks. It's what we know."
Fresh seafood, chicken, and other dishes also will be on the menu. A chef and kitchen staff are in place, Klideris said.
An area currently occupied by a stage will be renovated to add room for private dining, Klideris said. A bar in the restaurant's upper level will feature craft beers.
The restaurant may close for a few days to accommodate the changes before reopening as Prime Steak House toward the end of the month, he said.
Laud, owner of Carriage Court Pizza, said he originally planned only to lease kitchen space in the 220 S. Main St. basement, formerly occupied by a pizza restaurant.
"It had more space than I needed, so I decided to open a barbecue place," Laud said.
Recipes are being readied, Laud said. "It will be our own unique stuff."
Indoor seating and some outdoor seating, weather permitting, are planned. Barbecued meats will be smoked outside year round, Laud said.
Smokey's Basement BBQ is planned to complement offerings at Carriage Court Pizza and its adjoining Crown Brewing featuring craft beers, Laud said.
"As space became available we wanted to complement what we are already doing, and to become the hub of the downtown area," he said.