Saturday, April 23, 2016

Tony Roma's (Vancouver, WA)

(My theme is places I visited or lived)

A former employer, Curt Warner, moved us lock, stock, and barrel to Vancouver, WA from Bremerton, WA in April of 1999. We lived in Vancouver from April 1, 1999 until February 5th, 2005 when we moved to Longview, WA. (We just recently moved back to Vancouver April 15, 2015 from Longview, WA)

When we lived here in the early 2000's in the Ross Shopping Center across from the Vancouver Mall there was a Tony Roma's. They had the best steak money could buy. It was every bit as good as Ruth Chris Streak House in Seattle or Portland, better or as good as the Outback Steak Houses, or even Black Angus.

I use to order the steak and lobster dish every time. Why did they have to close the doors here in Vancouver? I can almost taste those steaks right now.

Tony Roma's is a casual dining chain restaurant specializing in baby back ribs. The first location was established in 1972 in North Miami, Florida, by the founder, and today there are more than 150 locations in over 30 countries on six continents

Tony Roma, the driving force and namesake behind the casual dining eatery, opened the first Tony Roma’s in North Miami on January 20, 1972. Prior to opening his self-named restaurant, Tony Roma was the food and beverage specialist for the Playboy Club.

Originally, a steak and burger joint, one weekend, Chef David Smith, threw some baby back ribs on the grill and served them with Tony Roma’s special BBQ sauce. The ribs proved so popular, they were added to the menu full-time, and quickly became what Tony Roma’s was known for. Tony Roma’s menu has further expanded to include seafood, pasta, chicken, and sandwiches.

Four years later, in 1976, Clint Murchinson Jr., the then owner of the Dallas Cowboys, was in Miami for Super Bowl X. Though the Cowboys suffered a disappointing loss against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Mruchinson didn’t go home empty handed, instead he purchased the majority stake in the restaurant, going on to become the driving force behind Tony Roma’s international expansion. Murchinson and Roma established Roma Corporation, a jointly owned company that oversaw the restaurants and sold franchises.

In 1979, the first international location opened in Tokyo, Japan and by 1983; there were 30 Tony Roma’s restaurants around the world. During the mid-1980s, Roma Corp’s growth plan included opening more franchises, rather than company-owned stores.

Clint Murchison sold his shares in Roma Corp to his children in 1984, and Kenneth Reimer, a Murchison business associate, took over as CEO of Roma. Tony Roma himself also sold his interest in the company to the Murchison children.

Under Reimer, Tony Roma’s expanded; growing the menu, opening more locations and remodeling older restaurants for a more modern feel. In 2002, Frank Steed took over as CEO and president of Roma Corp and David Grail became head of menu development. Steed signed agreements to open an additional 60 Tony Roma’s across South America, Europe, and the Middle East.

In 2001, original head chef, David Smith retired and Tony Roma’s first Executive Chef, Bob Gallagher came on board in 2006.In 2003, Tony Roma died in Hemet, CA, at the age of 78.


nashvillecats2 said...

So you're just recently moved? how do you find time for the busy life you lead?
Most enjoyable to read and it certainly gave me much pleasure.
Enjoy your week-end.

Arlee Bird said...

Years ago I ate at the Tony Roma's location in Fullerton, CA not far from where I live, but that's the only time that I can recall. I guess it was good as I don't remember anything negative about my experience.

Now you've got me craving a steak.

Arlee Bird
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Tossing It Out

Anonymous said...

Blog hopping from North Carolina during the #Challenge. Will enjoy catching up with your past posts. The last Tony Roma's I ate in was in Louisville, Ky. Wish there were one in North Carolina nearby. I have been writing about hotels and inns, the architects and setting. Come and learn something more about fixing tea or ordering tea at a lovely hotel on the letter T day if you have time or interest.

shortybear said...

you made me hungry

KC Bob said...

Enjoyed the read Gregg. Both Tony Roma and Ruth's Chris did not do well in KC. Guess they could not compete with our aged steaks and amazing BBQ. ツ