Multiple sources close to the situation have revealed to Eater that Pappas Bros. Steakhouse intends to take over the space downtown formerly occupied by The Strip House. The move represents the first serious challenge to Vic & Anthony's hegemony over the downtown steakhouse scene that includes chains such as Shula's, Morton's and III Forks. Although no opening date is known, peeking through the windows revealed ladders and other signs of construction already taking place in the dining room.
While they may not have signed a lease yet, Pappas is clearly serious about the space. Reached by Eater for comment, Pappas Director of Marketing Christina Pappas wrote, "We are still working out the details, but we are very excited about this downtown opportunity."
Regardless of when it opens, expect the restaurant to feature the details that earned Pappas top steakhouse honors from Texas Monthly in 2007: dry-aged, prime beef, a massive wine cellar and banquet facilities that are more than capable of accommodating the lawyers, businessmen and professional athletes that were fixtures at The Strip House and continue to keep Vic and Anthony's busy.
The biggest question is who will take charge of the kitchen. While Pappas could certainly promote from within, there are other, highly intriguing possibilities. For example, former Stella Sola chef Justin Bayse currently works for Pappas as an R&D chef. Could he be looking to make a return to the kitchen? Vic and Anthony's concept chef Carlos Rodriguez worked for Pappas in Dallas before opening V&A. After 10 years, could he be ready for a change? It's all speculation at this point, but the situation bears watching.