The date has arrived for the great steakhouse opening in the north: On October 18, Dallas restaurateur Al Biernat will open Al Biernat's North, at 5251 Spring Valley Rd., east of the Dallas Tollway and north of the Galleria, a second branch of his legendary steakhouse on Oak Lawn Avenue.
Biernat says he has always wanted to open a second location but was waiting to find the perfect space.
"When I heard this site was available, I knew we had to have it," he says in a release. "It's ideally situated to cater to our loyal clientele living in the northern suburbs, and it will give us a wonderful platform to serve a new group of guests that are not as familiar with our brand."
Despite a proliferation of steakhouses in Dallas-Fort Worth, the original Al Biernat's has carved out a special spot, thanks to its combination of steak and seafood, vibrant bar, prestige wine list, and Biernat himself, whose charismatic presence and ability to remember names and faces has made him one of Dallas' top hosts.
The original location will celebrate its 20th anniversary next summer. Al's is a go-to spot not just for nearby Highland Parkies but also for celebrities breezing through town. Just in the past month, the restaurant has wined and dined the likes of Van Halen bass player Michael Anthony, '60s rocker David Crosby, and Lynda Carter, the original Wonder Woman.
Taking over what was previously home to Del Frisco's Steakhouse (which moved to Uptown Dallas), Al Biernat's North is the result of a $4 million remodel, overseen by Al's wife, Jeannie Biernat, and Director of Operations Brad Fuller. The team hired a pair of leading Dallas-based firms — JonesBaker for design and Architexas as the architects — to bring their vision to life.
The new restaurant features a wide array of dramatic design elements, from a three-story atrium that casts natural light on the entry to a large, energetic bar room to the right of the main entrance.
Multiple dining areas scattered throughout the restaurant offer options from intimate, elegant dining around the fireplace on the main floor to private rooms upstairs. The second level is anchored by a distinctive "Blue Bar," which leads outside to a large, open-air terrace.
Fixtures were provided by a who's who of design, including tile flooring by Exquisite Surfaces, light fixtures by Kelly Wearslter, multiple booths by Timothy Oulton, and the pièce de résistance, an imposing David Yarrow photograph of a prowling lion entitled "Carnivore," displayed behind the hostess stand.
Diners who've attended soft opening events are already cooing over the signature crab corn lobster and the location's stunning appointments.
General Manager will be Eddie Althaus, who has worked with Al Biernat's for over six years, most recently doubling the Oak Lawn restaurant's brunch traffic. Althaus’ background includes tenures at Chamberlain's Steakhouse, Pappas Brothers, Mi Piaci, and Salve Ristorante Italiano.
Chef is Anthony Van Camp, a graduate of Mansfield High School and the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, who will oversee the kitchens at both Al Biernat's. Van Camp worked under Chef Anthony Bonbaci for 10 years at Nana and SĒR in the Hilton Anatole. Before taking the reins at Al Biernat’s original location on Oak Lawn, he ran the Stadium Club restaurant at AT&T Stadium.
Pedro Ortiz will serve as executive chef at Al Biernat's North. Miguel Cauich, who has worked for Al Biernat's for over 19 years, will remain executive chef in Oak Lawn. Jamie Benge replaces Brad Fuller as general manager at the original location. Fuller and Biernat will share their time between both restaurants going forward.
Al Biernat’s North will open for dinner only on the main floor, but lunch service will commence in mid-November, which will also mark the opening of the second floor.