Updated Tue, Mar 25, 2014 9:56 am
Athens has a new place for steak as Texas Roadhouse opened its doors to the public on Monday afternoon.
The approximately 160 new employees began “intense” training on March 17, according to Texas Roadhouse managing partner Deedra Semones. Nearly 900 people applied for jobs at the new establishment, which is in the parking lot of The Market on State.
Despite the harsh winter, construction remained on schedule, said Neal Niklaus, the restaurant’s market partner. He said that the structure had to be built before the concrete flooring could be poured, noting that the concrete is usually poured first.
The restaurant was open Saturday and Sunday to those who received an invitation from the business. To work out the last-minute kinks and to give the staff practice before the grand opening, customers over the weekend were given a complimentary meal.
The restaurant was packed over the weekend as people tried menu items, sampled appetizers and cheered as the staff broke out into a line dance.
All tips received by the restaurant on Saturday and Sunday were donated to Habitat for Humanity of Southeast Ohio. Niklaus said that the company has a history of contributing to Habitat. He said that a group of managers and owners from Texas Roadhouse partnered with Habitat to help construct homes in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.
The interior of the Athens location features murals depicting local landmarks such as Ohio University’s College Gate and the Dairy Barn Arts Center.
Hours are Monday-Thursday, 4-10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.