Sunday, November 9, 2008

Longhorn Steakhouse

Charlotte's first Longhorn Steakhouse opened in Dilworth in April 1987 on the corner of Morehead St and Euclid Ave. Opened by restauranteur Bill Dukes (Godfather Pizza, Blue Marlin) in a former Exxon gas station, Charlotte's first Longhorn was a smash hit within six months of opening. With its Texas roadhouse music, signature peanuts (with shells on the floor), and Texas-sized steaks, Bill Dukes offered Charlotte a restaurant that was different than anything else in town. Its unique neighborhood location only added to the restaurant's appeal. The restaurant also became the popular hangout for many of the area NASCAR drivers. 

Bill Dukes would retain ownership of Lonestar until the late-90's when he sold the franchise back to the parent corporation. Again the way, he would open 14 additional area Longhorns. Though all were successful, the Dilworth location was the only one that had a non-chain, neighborhood feel to it (and the most devoted following). 

The Dilworth location closed on February 17, 2007 and the building was torn down shortly after. It is currently a vacant lot. Initially there was talk of Panera Bread possibly buying the land but that does not appear likely to happen.


  1. Actually a 6 story Office Building with ground floor retail will be built there.