Restaurant News & Reviews

Rackhouse opens to fill gap between chain and high-end steakhouses

If you’ve been waiting for the Rackhouse, Steaks & Spirits to open in downtown Gulfport, your wait is over as of 4 p.m. Monday.

Bob Taylor’s newest venture is at 1301 26th Ave., the former location of Lookout Steakhouse. His and his partners’ aim with Rackhouse is to create a steak restaurant that fits neatly into the gap between fine dining and the menus of chain-type steakhouses “with the quality firmly on the end of fine dining,” Taylor said.

“At the higher end places, everything is a la carte,” he said. “We want to give more to our customers, so you will get salad with your steak and we have several sides to choose from. So if you want to spend $25 or $30 a head you can do that. Or if you want to spend $100 a head, you can do that, too. We wanted to do fine dining, food and service but in a casual atmosphere. So you can come in in a pair of jeans and a nice T-shirt, or you can come in in a suit. Like with Half Shell, we look at it as, with good food and a fair price, you’ll come in more often.”

Steaks call for a good wine or other spirits, and the Rackhouse has created a venue to enjoy their company.

“We increased the size of the mezzanine to about 2,000 square feet and added a nice long bar, bathrooms, high-top seating and lounge seating by the windows, then we decked it out Rackhouse style,” Taylor said.

Customers will be able to chose from more than 100 bourbons, whiskeys and ryes, plus 37 wines by the glass and more than 100 bottled wines.

“I’ve also created a Bourbon Society,” Taylor said. “Bourbons and whiskeys are hugely popular now. So for like $25 a year, you can be part of periodic tastings, and when there are special or rare bourbons that we get access to, you can be alerted.”

Rackhouse isn’t just about steaks, although Taylor is excited about the dry-aged strips, prime cuts and upper-choice cuts on the menu. New Zealand Lamb Rack, Herbed Butter Chicken, Faroe Island Salmon and Lobster Macaroni, which might be familiar to customers of Red Sky, are among the choices. Steak prices range from $24 for a 6-ounce USDA Choice center-cut filet to $69 for a 28-ounce USDA High Choice angus tomahawk ribeye. There’s also a selection of hot or cold appetizers and desserts.

Rackhouse hours are 4-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 4-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The phone number is 228-206-2744.

Tammy Smith: 228-896-2130, @Simmiefran1