Texas Roadhouse, a restaurant that prides itself on hand-cut steaks, is coming to South Mississippi.
The restaurant serves made-from-scratch side dishes, croutons and salad dressings. The most popular dish is a 6-ounce sirloin with two side items for $9.99, plus all the fresh-baked bread and roasted peanuts you can eat. The 23-ounce Porterhouse dinner costs $26.99.
The restaurant expects a June opening just north of Interstate 10 in the same area where Buffalo Wild Wings and Mugshots Grill and Bar recently opened. Spokesman Travis Doster said about 200 employees will be hired — 60 percent part time and 40 percent full time.
This will be the first foray into Mississippi in many years for Texas Roadhouse, which has a restaurant in Horn Lake.
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The Louisville, Kentucky, company has 492 locations in 49 states. Kent Taylor founded the restaurant in 1993 and still serves as CEO. The people who run the restaurants are called managing partners, Doster said, because they buy into the business for $25,000, keep 10 percent of profits and sign a five-year contract.
Texas Roadhouse is big on community involvement. Restaurants hold an average of four fundraisers a month, Doster said. The company advertises mostly through word of mouth.
On Veterans Day, Texas Roadhouse offers veterans and active military members free steak lunches. The restaurant is normally open for lunch only on Saturdays and Sundays, and for dinner seven nights a week.
Doster said Texas Roadhouse looks for locations in commercial areas with homes nearby so it can attract a dinner crowd. The interior has a southwestern Texas theme, but the owner-manager also will be able to depict South Mississippi scenes on murals.
Country music caricatures hang on the walls and country music plays in the dining room. The Gulfport restaurant will be the standard 7,000 square feet. Construction costs are estimated at $750,000, city planning records show.
On the same acreage with the restaurant, owner Anchor Development of Georgia also is building a shopping center anchored by a Mattress Firm. SportsClips Haircuts will be a tenant, too, with three vacancies remaining to fill. Construction costs are listed at $1 million.
The Gulfport Sportsplex, which is expanding, and several new subdivisions are helping fuel growth in the area, Urban Development Director Greg Pietrangelo said.