Ruth’s Chris Restaurant Moves to Council

The Ann Arbor planning commission has recommended approval of the site plan for Ruth’s Chris Steak House. The action took place at the commission’s April 1, 2014 meeting.

 Ruth's Chris Steak House, Ann Arbor planning commission, The Ann Arbor Chronicle

Proposed facade of Ruth’s Chris Steak House at 314 S. Fourth Ave.

The site plan calls for renovating the single-story building at 314 S. Fourth Ave. and putting up a 1,943-square-foot second-floor mezzanine addition over the front part of the existing building. The current structure is 8,024 square feet, and most recently housed the Dream Nite Club, which closed in 2012. The project is estimated to cost $2.2 million. [.pdf of staff report]

The recommendation of approval is contingent on addressing the following issues: (1) a discrepancy in the property legal description; (2) a license agreement for emergency egress across the front of the Fourth & William parking structure; and (3) construction of one bicycle parking space in the Fourth & William parking structure or payment to the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority to install the space.

Part of the planning commission’s discussion focused on whether there might be outdoor dining in front of the restaurant. The project’s architect indicated that at this point, outdoor seating wouldn’t be appropriate, in part because of bus traffic. The building is located near the Blake Transit Center, a hub for public transportation. The architect also indicated that the restaurant will be using valet parking, with valets positioned in front of the building.

This would be the first Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Ann Arbor. The chain is based in Florida, with locations nationwide.

This brief was filed from the second floor council chambers at city hall, 301 E. Huron. A more detailed report will follow: [link]