Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House will open one of its premium steakhouses on International Drive in Fall of 2015. The restaurant is being constructed on a site that once held a Sizzler steakhouse, so there are bound to be comparisons. Not.
More likely the comparisons -- and the competition for meat-loving conventioneers -- will be between Del and The Capital Grille, which is essentially across the street at Pointe Orlando. Del's new address will be 9142 International Drive.
The Del Frisco's name isn't new to Orlando, but the Double Eagle brand is. The restaurant now known as Christner's Prime Steak & Lobster on Lee Road began as Del Frisco's Prime Steak & Lobster. That was in 1993 when Russ Christner convinced his friend Dale Wamstad, owner of the original Del Frisco's in Dallas (by way of New Orleans) to allow him to open a Del Frisco's in Orlando. The agreement included a 20 year license. During that time, Wamstad sold the business to the company that would create the Double Eagle chain brand. When the 20 years were up, in 2013, the license was not renewed, and the restaurant changed its name to Christner's. As part of the parting terms, Del Frisco's Double Eagle was excluded from entering the Central Florida market for the period of one year.
That was up in June, so it's surprising that it will be another year -- plus -- before the Double Eagle restaurant opens up.
And I was surprised that it will be a Double Eagle and not the Del Frisco's Grille, a more casual concept. One of those opened in the past year in the Tampa area. Let's take that as a positive indication that companies are betting that people are willing to spend expense account dollars at fine restaurants again.
Have you been to a Del Frisco's Double Eagle steakhouse? Are you excited about the one to open on International Drive?