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ORLANDO-Ruth’s Chris Steak House, a 36-year-old, New Orleans-based restaurant chain with 75 global outlets, opened its second company-owned location in metro Orlando July 9 on Sand Lake Road in booming southwest Orange County.

Restaurant officials couldn’t be reached at GlobeSt.com’s publication deadline but area construction industry estimators familiar with comparable projects tell GlobeSt.com the hard construction cost of the 8,000-sf property will come in at about $1.6 million or $200 per sf.

The dining area will seat 180; the lounge, 24. The chain’s 10-year-old restaurant in suburban Winter Park, FL continues to rank annually among the top dining establishments in Central Florida.

Jason Garcia, former head chef at the Winter Park outlet who held the same position previously at Morton’s Steak House in Houston, is head chef at Ruth’s new location.

The majority owner of Ruth’s Chris Steak House is Madison Dearborn Properties Inc., a private Chicago-based equity investment group. The 75 Ruth restaurants generate annual sales of $300 million, according to Ruth Fertel, the company’s founder.

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