Don Saulovish got off work early Tuesday afternoon, drove from Livermore to the Texas Roadhouse parking lot and eagerly waited for the doors to open for the restaurant’s second day of business.
“I’ve been here since 3:30 p.m., and I’m ready to try some steak,” he said.
Saulovish is not the only steak-lover who has awaited the opening of the national chain. After several months of construction and a weeklong training period, Texas Roadhouse opened in Tracy on Monday.
Peanuts scattered the restaurant’s new hardwood floor just shortly after it opened, but manager Timothy Lund said that’s half the fun.
“We want this to be a fun, family environment,” Lund said.
Hungry customers enjoyed freshly baked bread, steaks and a full menu of entrees.
“The first day was incredible,” Lund said.
Sales were high, he said, even though the restaurant’s liquor license won’t be granted until today.
If the hand-cut steaks and Texas-size portions don’t get people in the appropriate mood, a line dance is sure to do it. Servers perform one of six line dances every 45 minutes. Children and confident adults are welcome to set down their fork and join in on the fun.
The restaurant employs a staff of 160, including 60 servers, 55 kitchen staff and six bartenders. “We need a big staff when we make everything from scratch every day,” Lund said.
Texas Roadhouse server Lauren Danielson, 20, waited for her first customers at the door Tuesday.
“I’m so pumped,” she said. “Everybody here is fun, and it’s such a family-oriented working environment.”
She was voted queen of Texas Roadhouse orientation for her high test scores and overall hard-working attitude. Danielson said she comes with two years of service experience from Applebees.
Tracy’s Texas Roadhouse is the newest of 235 nationally. The chain doesn’t advertise at the corporate level, but each site is responsible to promote locally. Texas Roadhouses host benefits for schools, churches and other nonprofits to spread the word about the steakhouse.
“In everything we do, we try to give back to the community,” Lund said. “We’ll continue to support hometown causes.”
Texas Roadhouse had pre-opening events last weekend to raise money for Pentecostal of God Youth Ministries, a conglomerate of 80 churches in the region.
• To contact reporter Danielle MacMurchy, call 830-4280 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.