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Old Homestead
Photograph: Courtesy of Old Homestead

A good, old-fashioned steakhouse battle is brewing in NYC

Here’s the beef.

Amber Sutherland-Namako
Written by
Amber Sutherland-Namako

Old Homestead Steakhouse, which first opened on 9th Avenue in 1868, has a lot going for it. It’s one of the best restaurants in its neighborhood and category. It’s address straddles touristy and residential areas. And it has another location in Las Vegas, where things that happen stay.  

With so many advantages, Old Homestead could coast, quietly serving its steaks, chops and inordinately long list of appetizers in relative peace for another 154 years. But instead, it has ignited a war reminiscent of old-timey TV commercials where a shout-y proprietor with minimal media training not only touts the superiority of his own wares, but also decries the other guys by name. 

In response to inflation, Old Homestead is lowering the price of what it says is one of its most popular items, the porterhouse steak for two, from $155 to $99 from Tuesday-Sunday. But wait. There’s more. Seriously look at this thing. 

Old Homestead
Courtesy of Old Homestead

With utmost respect to the competition,” a press release reads, “other establishments such as Peter Luger, Porter House, and Wolfgang’s currently charge anywhere between $165 - $200 for a comparable offering.” A brief corresponding video stops short of citing these or other restaurants, but a print ad intended for local newspapers, a billboard and taxi tops with “geo-targeted technology to display the ads when a taxi drives near a competing steakhouse” (emphasis ours) shouts “WHY PAY MORE FOR A PRIME PORTERHOUSE STEAK FOR TWO,” names these and Smith & Wollensky, Gallagher’s and Keens, listing their equivalent items’ prices as $129, $175, $131, $140, $132 and $130, respectively, as of 9/12/2022. Wolfgang’s and Luger are actually a few cents more than Homestead asserts, and Porter House’s competing cut is $5 more at press time. 

Questions abound. Will the named restaurants react either by lowering their own prices or with fighting words? Will someone zag, adding a new, lavishly-priced steak, dollar signs justified with silly gold leaf or a lump of caviar, half-sure to garner at least a little attention by virtue of its extravagance alone? Will whomever came up with this clever campaign be appropriately rewarded? And, may we all, one day, be so bold? None of the combatants immediately responded to requests for comment, but we will update this piece if the beef advances. 

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