Mr. Steak, 1976

Nov. 16, 1976

This photo shows the Mr. Steak restaurant at 2120 London Road, where Burger King is located today. It looks like Burger King must have renovated, and not replaced, the old Mr. Steak building.

The caption that ran with this photo said it the building cost $700,000 and had seating for 208 diners; a lower level, with seating for another 100 to 120 people, was set to open within a year. Mr. Steak was a national chain.

On March 13, 1984, a News-Tribune article reported that the Mr. Steak building would be remodeled into "an unusual blend of Irish restaurant and Texas bar," called McLean’s Irish Pub and O’Gilley’s Bar. Mr. Steak’s owners had filed for bankruptcy and the restaurant had closed the week before.

According to later news articles, McLean’s and O’Gilley’s closed in November 1984, and almost immediately reopened as McLean’s Steak and Seafood and McLean’s Lounge. It closed again in September 1985, then reopened again sometime in 1986, with the downstairs bar taking the name "MacLounge." A January 1987 article refers to the restaurant being closed yet again while undergoing remodeling by new owners. It was set to reopen as "J. Noreen & Co.," a fine-dining restaurant, with a sports bar called "H.B.’s" located downstairs.

That’s where the trail goes cold. Does anyone know when Burger King took over the building?

Mr. Steak had at least one other location in Duluth, near Target at 2202 Maple Grove Road. That building now houses a branch of Grandma’s Restaurant. Here is an uncaptioned photo from 1971 that I assume shows the Maple Grove Road Mr. Steak location:

Here is a close-up of the logo:

The Maple Grove Road Mr. Steak location was open until at least 1984; does anyone know how long it lasted?

21 Responses

  1. J.J.

    I remember eating at the Mr. Steak near Target in Duluth on my 22 birthday with my fiance…December 18, 1990. Not long afterward it became a Grandma’s Restaurant.

  2. John S

    I know the Mr. Steak on Maple Grove Road was open on November 9, 1985. Went there for my Mom’s birthday as I was in my Senior year at Duluth East.

  3. Sue

    How nostalgic! I worked at a Mr.Steak for 10 years…high school through college. A family member was the founder and CEO and it was an easy job to “get”, but I worked my buns off to keep it! My family all had stock in the company at one time. I worked almost every aspect of that resturant by the time I left..including inventory and sales. We often get together and talk about food we miss and try to replicate at home…mmmm I loved the “Continental”…..;)

    1. Vonnie Bench

      I also worked at the Mr Steak in Westland MI for many years. The owner at the time was Richard Di Lagua, man he was a tough man to work for! But I learned alot and he kept all his employees in top form. Scuff on your shoe? polish them now. Apron have a wrinkle – go in the back and iron it. They were good lessons.
      Does anyone know where I could get the recipe for that Continental burger? I’ve been craving it for years :).

  4. Rob Schmidt

    After graduating from college, I began working for Mr. Steak as a cook in 1974 at their brand new restaurant at Hampden and Yosemite in Denver, Colorada. The manager was Mr. Peterson and his wife, who we all called Mr. P and Mrs.P. I had worked at many restaurants prior to Mr. Steak, yet Mr. Steak was the only one that was so clean (after nightly clean-up, of course) that I would eat a meal from the floor. Mr. Steak taught me a lot about the restaurant business, and I went from Mr. Steak to several other restaurant chains over the years.

    I met my wife at this Mr. Steak and we married in 1978. Furthermore, my father was a partner in the company that produced the Mr. Steak fiberglass signs that in the mid-seventies hung on most of the buildings. I would really like to find one of these fiber glass signs for my father. Please let me know if you have any information on one of these signs.

  5. Shayne

    I beleive Burger King on London Rd. took over in 1988 or 1989 because I was one of the origional employees hired before it opened

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  12. Peter F

    The Mr Steak on Maple Grove Rd was already a Grandma’s branch by the summer of 1984, I think.

    As for the site on London Rd, before Mr. Steak was built that was the site of the A&W Drive Inn! And across London Rd where the McDonald’s stand currently was a miniature golf course.

  13. Chris

    What happened to that location by the mall after Mr. Steak closed? It didn’t immediately become a Grandma’s did it?

  14. Theresa

    I worked at the Mr. Steak that is now Grandma’s. I left there in February of 1990, and it closed a few months after that. The fish that hung on the wall was caught by Mark Peterson, who used to be the owner of Mr. Steak.

  15. Patt J

    I remember that fish very well. Wasn’t it a blue marlin or something like that? And doesn’t it still exist at Grandma’s at the mall? My nephew used to be fascinated with it.

  16. Jim M.

    The Mr. Steak by Target had a gigantic mounted swordfish hanging on the wall. That thing scared the pants off of me when I was a kid.

  17. MsM

    I can’t say I remember much about Mr Steak, but I loved going there as a child for the lovely little furry animals that kind of clipped/grabbed onto the straws…

    Wow, that’s an awful description! Best I can do though.

  18. Cathy

    Don’t know when Burger King moved in, but the London Road Mr. Steak replaced an A&W , the old-style version where you’d park and order from your car. The server would bring your food out on a tray and hook it to your window. A frosty mugs of A&W root beer would be great right now…

  19. Patt J

    The Mr Steak at the mall is now the home of Grandma’s restaurant. Mr Steak had the best steak kebobs with some great mushroom/cheese sauce. I miss it!

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