The Beefsteak Charlie's restaurant chain was started in early 1976 by restaurateur Larry Ellman, whose Steak & Brew chain (part of the Longchamps organization) had filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in fall 1975: Steak & Brew, Inc., was renamed Beefsteak Charlies, Inc., many Steak & Brew locations were converted into Beefsteak Charlie's. As the chain first filed for a trademark on the "Beefsteak Charlie's" name in March 1976, and no prior trademark existed, it appears there was no direct connection to the namesake restaurant which inspired the chain.
Beefsteak Charlie's marketing concept emphasized an all-you-can-eat salad bar, as well as unlimited beer, wine, or sangria. Early 1980s advertising featured an actor in early 20th century dress playing the role of Beefsteak Charlie, later joined by his nephew "Beefsteak Chuck." Two of the chain's famous indulgent slogans were "I'll feed you like there's no tomorrow" and "You're gonna get spoiled."
As of 1984, the chain had over 60 locations, primarily on the East Coast. Corporate owner Beefsteak Charlies, Inc., changed its name in 1985 to Lifestyle Restaurants, Inc. In August 1987, the chain was acquired by Bombay Palace Restaurants, via a merger with Lifestyle Restaurants for a reported $8.4 million in stock. At the time of the 1987 merger, the chain had 48 locations, but had closed 20 locations and lost $20 million since 1984. When Bombay filed for bankruptcy two years later, the chain had only 35 outlets.
In 1992, the chain was advertising its two remaining locations in Manhattan—at 51st Street and Broadway (originally the famous Lindy's location), and at 45th Street and Eighth Avenue. In 2000, franchise restaurant operator Riese Organization converted its 45th Street location into Joe Franklin's Memory Lane Restaurant. A Manhattan location on Eighth Avenue at the Howard Johnson's Plaza hotel closed shortly after September 11, 2001.
Several locations remained until the early 2000s.
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|Length (inches)||28||29 ¼||30 ¼||31 ¼||32 ½||33 ½|