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HH Bar and Grill to open in June

New restaurant to replace Hereford House at former location

May 11, 2007

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A new Hereford House concept is coming to Lawrence, replacing the special-occasion steakhouse that closed last summer in northwest Lawrence.

HH Bar and Grill is set to open in late June at 4931 W. Sixth St., inside the 17,000-square-foot space that has been vacant since July's closing of Hereford House.

Rod Anderson, president of Anderson Restaurant Group, which owns Hereford House, said that the new concept - with a larger bar, pool tables and a menu including pizzas, burgers and salad bar - would be a better fit for the Lawrence market.

"The problem with Hereford House in Lawrence - and it wasn't necessarily bad - was that because we were kind of locked into serving such a steak-type menu, the price points over the years had gotten too strong," Anderson said. "With this concept you can still have a great, quality meal, but you can also trade down when you're not looking for a big steak."

HH Bar and Grill will be an affiliate of Anderson Restaurant Group, whose holdings include four Hereford House restaurants in the Kansas City area. General manager for the new Lawrence operation will be Andres Pimental, the current general manager of Hereford House in downtown Kansas City, Mo.; chef will be Todd Brooks, the current executive chef for the restaurant group.

"Everybody's happy, and we're real excited," said Anderson, who is among silent partners in the project. "If they pull it off - I should say, when they pull it off - it's something that can be duplicated in other markets."

HH Bar and Grill likely will have 30 servers, 15 back-of-the-house employees and another five to seven hostesses and bartenders, Anderson said. Hiring likely will begin in a couple weeks.

Renovations and remodeling already have begun. While the western theme will remain, the interior will feature a lighter paint scheme and an expansion of the bar - a hole has been cut into the former "tack" room, to allow for more bar seating and placement of pool tables.

The downstairs meeting room - often used for civic meetings, private parties and other gatherings - will remain largely unchanged, Anderson said. He's counting on the space becoming increasingly popular as people looking to spend $15 a plate will find more options on the menu.

"This will offer a lot more flexibility on what people can spend," he said.

HH Bar and Grill will serve brunch on Sundays, and will be closed Mondays.

In the past, Anderson has cited Lawrence's smoking ban as among the major reasons for closing Hereford House in Lawrence, saying that it curbed the number of customers coming in from out of town.

Now, Anderson said Thursday, he and other principals in the investment group acknowledge that Lawrence is a "smaller market" than other Anderson Restaurant Group locations, and therefore unable to support the traditional steakhouse concept.

"This is still a special-occasion restaurant, but it won't be limited to that," he said.

Comments

KS 7 years, 7 months ago

Good luck. Just remember, this is Lawrence. Real estate values are high, but food and drink can't be. I think the cost of a steak in this place previously is what did them in.

Jamesaust 7 years, 7 months ago

"Real estate values are high, but food and drink can't be."

True enough. By the time one if not two commuters makes it home after work, stops a minute to write out the mortgage check for their overpriced house, by the time the family is ready for dinner there's not much money left (or time).

lawrencechick 7 years, 7 months ago

Great news, I miss the atmosphere of the Hereford House. As a steakhouse, it was too overpriced. An example of good food and service is Longhorn, and that place is always packed because of it. Now, will someone PLEASE open a decent Italian restaurant in this town.

PeteJayhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

Gasp, you mean to say that Paesano's and Bambino's aren't good, authentic restaurants? SHOCKING! :)

Eride 7 years, 7 months ago

It wasn't the price of the food that did Hereford House in. It was the HORRIBLE quality of the food and service.

Roadkill_Rob 7 years, 7 months ago

I think it's funny when people say that living here is expensive.

Eride 7 years, 7 months ago

Hereford House is relatively inexpensive as steak joints go...

Which is why it is amusing that they blame their prices rather then the shoddy food and service.

Farmboy 7 years, 7 months ago

Agreed. The steaks were below average and the seafood only made you wish you had ordered a below average steak. But the service was great.

Ken Miller 7 years, 7 months ago

I had nothing but great experiences at the old HH in Lawrence - in fact, we had our rehearsal dinner there about a month before the (surprise) closing. I'm looking forward to the new HH Bar and Grill opening and will certainly give them a couple of tries.

It's also good to know that one of Lawrence's biggest restaurant properties will be active again, drawing property tax revenue.

walkdog262 7 years, 7 months ago

The trouble with steaks is that you can easily make a great one at home for less than $10. When I go out for a nice dinner, I want something I can't easily make at home, like seafood or ribs. HH was good, but I just couldn't get too excited about going there.

Bud Stagg 7 years, 7 months ago

I don't know where you guys were eating but HH had slow, inattentive staff members each of the 6 times I ate there. Their steaks were average, prices way above average. Longhorn has much better steaks and service. I expected much more from HH for the price, so did most of Lawrence.

Centrist 7 years, 7 months ago

What's wrong with Paisano's?

Oh wait, the food is excellent, but the service varies between 'really good' and 'so-so'.

Hereford House was always overpriced for what was delivered. Their steaks were good, but not overly flavorful.

Longhorn is way, way better.

Now we need a Texas Roadhouse, so we can get good food, service AND value!

LittleMissFlea 7 years, 7 months ago

Longhorn Steakhouse is the only place that I've ever sent food back, it was that terrible. Haven't been there since, won't go there again. Something about national chains leads to medicore food, at best.

Confrontation 7 years, 7 months ago

I'm glad to see that something else is going into that building. It's not attractive for the city to have so many empty buildings. Although I didn't mind Hereford House, I think I'll try out the new restaurant more often. If I'm really in the mood to ignore healthy eating habits, then I tend to choose the new Midwest Fish Frye at 19th & Haskell. I've yet to find better fried fish. Didn't someone say that I could do this in moderation?

suesay 7 years, 7 months ago

what about don's steakhouse?

i like longhorn better than hh. it was years and years ago since i ate there, but i think i had some kind of sandwich, the daily special, and it was still expensive and not too good.

one time at longhorn, one guy in my party of 11 people got his ribs dropped on the floor in the kitchen. he got his food at least 10 minutes after everyone else, and the staff acted like it was no big deal; they hardly apologized. i know accidents happen, but come on. he got his food when everyone else was half way done with their meal. other than that, i've never had a bad experience there.

try the fried cheesecake at long horn. it's soooo good! my husband and i used to eat half price burgers at molly mcgee's, then go to longhorn just for the dessert.

lawrencechick 7 years, 7 months ago

Sorry Centrist...I don't know which is worse at Paisano's: the gross moldy basement they put you in or the food.

always4ever 7 years, 7 months ago

This is great news! Hereford House was always the best meal in town. I am really looking forward to having them back in this remixed version. We will definitely be there!

trfcprincess 7 years, 7 months ago

"We need an Olive Garden or Macaroni Grill to come in and drive this hole out of business." Are you kidding me? Macaroni Grill isn't too bad, but Olive Garden??? I've refused to step foot in that place for years. Talk about overpriced, extremely unhealthy and boring food. Then you see their irritating commercials ... case closed. I'll give the new HH a chance. I'm not a huge fan of getting steak out (I'd rather make a really good one at home for half the price) but, if they have other options, I'd give it a try. Good to see an empty space getting filled. Lawrence has way too many empty businesses yet they're always building more.

amazonratz 7 years, 7 months ago

I heard that the La Parilla/Zen Zero owners are opening an Italian place in the old Mass St. Deli...true/false? Anyone know?

gccs14r 7 years, 7 months ago

I ate at HH a few times and found the food to be mediocre and the prices exhorbitant. I would never spend my own money in the place and would be reluctant to spend someone else's. If dinner costs $50 a seat, it better be an outstanding meal, not something that would be disappointing to have at a backyard barbeque.

amazonratz 7 years, 7 months ago

Mama mia!! Now that sounds like a good idea--we really need a good Italian place. Yum...manicotti, cannelloni, lasagne, spaghetti, rigatoni, chicken parmigiana, etc, etc, and don't forget to take the cannoli...anyone else hungry yet? Mangia!

del888 7 years, 7 months ago

Italian? What about The Mad Greek. It's good.

b_asinbeer 7 years, 7 months ago

Mad Greek is not that good at all. If you've ever eaten in Greece or around the Mediterranean, you'll know that what you get and pay for here is more than sub-par. I try to avoid it at all costs.

LittleMissFlea 7 years, 7 months ago

Because so many of use have been to Greece, and Italy, and China, and. . .

Laura Watkins 7 years, 7 months ago

i think you're right-- zen zero and la parilla owners are opening an italian restaurant where mass st. deli was previously located. also there will be a new venezuelan restaurant downtown in a few weeks.

Steve Jacob 7 years, 7 months ago

I remember Hereford House having a sunday brunch that was great! Mad Greek does also have a good brunch, but I always stick with the gyro meat because it's always good. As far as Italian, I go to Macaroni Grill on Metcalf.

yankeelady 7 years, 7 months ago

A Macaroni Grill would be awesome!!! And Mad Greek is good--at least the gyros. And since I've not been out of the country they seem good to me. As far as steak--Longhorn is the best.

danapoint2lawrence 7 years, 7 months ago

We need a Cheesecake Factory in Lawrence! If you don't know what you want to eat, you can look through their book of a menu and find something that strikes your fancy!

TrueBlue 7 years, 7 months ago

I have been a Longhorn loyalist of since they opened. Why? This is the only restaurant in Lawrence that I have found is consistently great. They are always properly staffed. The service times are consistent and the wait staff is always attentive. The food always excellent.

What is truely amazing in this college town is that much of the original staff which I have gotten to know quite well, is graduating. The new staff members have not missed a beat in picking up where the veterans have left off. Which tells me that the long term employees were happy with their jobs and there is a solid training sytem in place.

I have not had a bad experience. If I have any issues there are always managers in the dining room to sincerely help you. Never see managers in other restaurants.

My neighbor went to Longhorn at my suggestion. Shortly after her visit she informed me her steak had been overcooked. However, she went on to tell me how the manager "Byron" was at the table immediately apologizing and informing her he would be monitoring the cooking process of her new steak. Minutes later a new steak was brought and the manager waited till she agreed it was the doneness. He informed her that the steak today was complimentary and gave her a gift certificate for her next visit. As if this were not enough? Her brought a dessert out to share for the rest of the as they were now almost finished with their entree's. Even though her steak was over cooked the recovery was superb. She eats there once a week now.

Why would you eat any where else in Lawrence? No other establishment is providing the goods on the level they do.

ericarothwell 7 years, 7 months ago

I loved the old Hereford house and am looking forward to the new concept. never had a bad steak/meal and the service was always exceptional!!

ericarothwell 7 years, 7 months ago

As far as longhorn the steaks give you a belly ache from all the butter and unnatural extras they inject in the meat to make a Well or bad cut of meat appear to be tender and moist. Real meat if overcooked, to a Medium Well or worse will be dry. Hereford House has never done me wrong in Lawrecne or KC. As far as the cost of living in Lawrence..if you can't afford it then move to Eudora! At least we have very low crime, clean streets, decent local shopping and good schools! We do need a good Italian restaurant!

ericarothwell 7 years, 7 months ago

I dined there about once a week. I am sure if they are offering a bar and grill menu that it will have the prices Lawrence wants to pay for. No one else in this town offers a nice salad bar, in a quiet dining environment. I can't wait to try.

Nick Yoho 7 years, 7 months ago

I'm saddened to here the negative sentiment expressed about Paisanos. They are one of the LOCALS.well,regional.I would eat at the Topeka one quite often years ago.It was much nicer than the strip mall basement sounds.The food was high quality,and fresh.Perhaps they DO need an update,a move.I know they have the ability to do good food.I hope they do,and redeem themselves.The atmosphere wasn't much better in Topeka though,they like the cheesey,over the top crap.

TrueBlue 7 years, 7 months ago

Longhorn steaks are cut in house. I have dined there enough and discerned this from the staff and managers. Erica Rothwell prefers the dry steaks over juicy steaks cut in house? Wow. Kinda nutty? Ah no, bring the dry steak.

Wilbur_Nether 7 years, 7 months ago

Oddly enough, I had an experience almost exactly like TrueBlue described at 9:03 a.m. on the 14th. Except my experience was at Hereford House in Lawrence. I never believed their prices were out of line with either the quantity or quality of the food I received. I think many of us here in Lawrence expect 21st-century products at 19th-century prices.

Wilbur_Nether 7 years, 7 months ago

4th_grade_education wrote: "We need an Olive Garden or Macaroni Grill to come in and drive [Paisano's] out of business."

No, thanks. I've eaten at all three of these restaurants, and Paisano's is consistently better than the other two. I'll go hungry rather than grace their doors.

Wilbur_Nether 7 years, 7 months ago

TrueBlue asked "Why would you eat any where else in Lawrence? No other establishment is providing the goods on the level they do."

I disagree with the last statement. Look at Pachamama's, New Hampshire Street Bistro, etc. And to answer the question more directly...because my tastebuds would get bored eating at just one restaurant every time I had a meal out.

Wilbur_Nether 7 years, 7 months ago

Well, that certainly put me in MY place....

unite2revolt 7 years, 7 months ago

I think the food snobs here need to be reminded we are in the 6th largest city in Kansas. We aren't exactly attracting the cream of the crop in culinary artists. It the midwest, enjoy your meat and potatoes and rach dressing like the rest of the midwest.

Nick Yoho 7 years, 7 months ago

Meat and Potatoes?! where do I get that? I want Diner food! Chicken fried steak.open face beef.yum!

Size isn't everything,(where have I heard that?)We aren't a farm town,we are a college town,with lots of International Students and Teachers.I'm thinkin' they have tastes somewhat different from country folk.(god bless 'em).

TheEleventhStephanie 7 years, 7 months ago

Burrito King. Still kind of good, even after all these years.

TrueBlue 7 years, 7 months ago

Wilber, When is the last time you ate at Hereford? I rest my case.

Wilbur_Nether 7 years, 7 months ago

TrueBlue demanded to know the last time I ate at the Lawrence Hereford House store. The answer is the week before it closed.

I'm not sure how that helped with TrueBlue's "case," but I'm glad to have made TrueBlue happy.

TrueBlue 7 years, 7 months ago

Wilbur,

Asking a question about dining habits and "demanding" are two deferent things. Sounds a bit defensive to me. Maybe you should try a winner? Obviously the root of our disagreement on food, service, and value.

Wilbur_Nether 7 years, 7 months ago

TrueBlue wrote "Asking a question about dining habits and 'demanding' are two deferent [sic] things."

After I observed TrueBlue call Erica Rothwell "kinda nutty" for wanting to "eat anywhere else in Lawrence," something about TrueBlue's 23 May post, "When is the last time you ate at Hereford? I rest my case" came across as, well, imperious to me. An imperious or urgent inquiry can be properly labelled a "demand."

Having clarified in yesterday's post that this question was merely one of a polite and sincere attempt to understand why my point of view was different, TrueBlue is due my apology. I apologize to you, TrueBlue, for misreading your amicable post.

Thank you for the recommendation of Longhorn as "a winner." I have eaten there a number of times, and the food and service are quite good. Having had an opportunity to cross-compare several items both on Longhorn's and Hereford House's menus, and at least one opportunity for service recovery at each restaurant, I found Hereford House to be more suited to my taste. On the whole, Hereford House's flavors were more complex and better balanced and the service was more refined and attentive. I truly appreciate TrueBlue's invitation, and I am familiar with Longhorn in Lawrence. The root of our disagreement is not that I haven't tried "a winner," but that we have different expectations from a steakhouse. Neither will I attempt to change TrueBlue's concept of what creates quality food and service or good value, nor will my mind be changed.

Thanks again to TrueBlue for the clarification--and again, I apologize for having so badly misinterpreted your earlier post.

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