PORTAGE | Kelsey's Steak House here will close its doors June 13 after providing fine dining service for nearly 28 years.

"The lease is up in Portage and we have decided to focus on our Valparaiso location," owner Peggy Hood said Tuesday.

"It was a very difficult decision to come to," she added.

Hood and her husband, Jack, purchased the eatery in 2011. Jack Hood died in August from injuries suffered in a car crash.

Peggy Hood said her husband's death was another factor in her decision to close the restaurant on the corner of U.S. 6 and Swanson Road. Kelsey's Valparaiso location on U.S. 30 will remain open.

Kelsey's Steak House opened in Portage in October 1987. Its first venue was on U.S. 6 across from Portage High School. The Valparaiso Kelsey's opened a year later.

The restaurant is well known for its charcoal grilled steaks and side dishes. It is also famous for its 6-pound challenge, in which customers could eat for free if they could down a 6-pound steak with all the trimmings during a meal.

In 1995, when the new Portage Kelsey's restaurant was under construction, the original restaurant site was destroyed in a fire.

The restaurants were then owned by the Blaney family, who sold to the Hoods in 2011.

Peggy Hood said about 30 people are employed at the Portage restaurant, mostly in part-time positions.

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Joyce has been a staff writer for The Times for more than 20 years. She is the municipal and education reporter for Porter County. She is an amateur genealogist and writes a blog, Remember your Roots, appearing online each Thursday.