First Look: Del Frisco's Double Eagle

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Del Friscos rendering

I was treated to a hard-hat tour of Del Frisco's Double Eagle Thursday. The high-end steakhouse is currently under construction on International Drive. The helmets were needed as regional manager Scott Gould and Dominick Delledera, the Orlando DFDE general manager, and I ducked under metal strips and the occasional scaffolding as we made our way through the 17,000-square-foot facility.

It certainly doesn't look possible, but Gould assured me that the construction will be finished in three weeks and the restaurant will open to the steak-eating public in five.

This isn't the area's first Del Frisco's but it is the first Double Eagle. The previous Del Frisco's, of course, is now known as Christner's Prime Steak & Lobster on Lee Road. If you don't know the full story, I explain it in this article. The short version: Del Frisco's Prime Steak & Lobster opened under an agreement with Russ Christner and the original owner of the Texas Del Frisco's. When that agreement ended, the Double Eagle parent company decided not to renew. The Lee Road restaurant took the Christner's name and the Del Frisco's folks waited out the non-compete clause. 

So, is there bad blood between the Christner's family and Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House? "Not at all," Gould told me. "We had dinner there last night," he said, referring to Christner's, "and we hope the Christner family will be at the opening." He also gave the Christners praise for serving the Del Frisco's name so well.

Here are some of the photos from the walk through.

Del Frisco construction bar

This is the main bar on the first floor. There will be booths along the wall.

 Del Frisco construction kitchen

Del Frisco construction dining room

Most of the kitchen equipment, including a bank of broilers that will sear the steaks, is in place. A glass wall will allow diners in the main dining room to watch the action, which will include the butcher station where steaks will be cut as they're ordered. This will be only the second Del Frisco's to have a show kitchen.

 Del Frisco construction stairs

Del Frisco construction rail

First seen in the Manhattan Del Frisco's, the braided cable railing has become a signature design item in other Double Eagles, including Orlando's.

 Del Frisco construction balcony

There will be another bar on the second level (I'm guessing it's going to be the go-to spot for locals; leave the downstairs bar to the conventioneers) and a covered balcony for outdoor dining.

By the way, while the builders are busily working to finish the facility, the Del Frisco's folks are frantically interviewing to find staff members to work there. For information, visit jobs.dfrg.com or stop by the hiring center, 7600 Dr. Phillps Blvd., Orlando, Suite 52, Saturday, July 11, between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Do NOT go to the restaurant -- unless you're applying as a painter.