Runyon’s Happy Hour: Old Becomes Hip and Cool

Runyans-1

By: Dan I. Cook

Runyon’s is not just your dad and mom’s old school steak house. Many times I’ll mention hitting Runyon’s and someone will say “Man it’s too expensive” or “Isn’t that where all the old people go to eat?” You know, I think about that and I agree, but then I ask them if they’ve been there recently and checked out their happy hour?

The answer is almost always no.

Myths

So let me clear the air with some issues about this place. Runyon’s has been around since 1984, and If you haven’t been in awhile, you need to go because they remodeled it. It still has that classic steak house feel, but it’s not as dark, and to me it’s more inviting. They also have a side room that looks like a elegant study where you can hold a private function. It really looks nice.

Attire

You don’t have to dress up in a fancy dress or wear a tie to go here. Yes this place is classy, but they understand times have changed and most younger people are not going to get dressed up. Obviously, if you want to you can, but I sure the hell don’t. I wear a t-shirt and shorts with my ball cap on. Sometimes I’ll wear a collared shirt and jeans. Bottom line is: as long as you act respectable, you will be fine in casual clothes. So don’t let the attire issue scare you away.

Isn’t Runyon’s for the older crowd?

Yes this is true and you know why? Because they know where the good deals are and who has outstanding food and drinks.  This is exactly why younger people need to try this place.

Legends

You won’t hear me use that word often when describing an owner or staff, but in this case I need too. Runyon’s has had only one owner in 30 years and that is Jack O’Connell who is a legend in fine dining in Coral Springs and Broward County. He’s a classy dude who loves sports and cares about his customers. We are lucky to have him in our community.

The manager Joe Kelleher is another legend. He may not think so, but I do. This guy has been working here for almost three decades. If you look up the word professional, Joe’s name is going to be there. You want to be treated like a king or queen for a few hours? Go here and visit when he’s working.

Sour Apple Martini

Sour Apple Martini

The mixologist Jeff Francis. Everyone knows Jeff and it’s hard not to love the guy. He’s been here over 30 years and he can make some killer drinks. You want a rum punch that tastes like a drink from the Mai-Kai, boom! No problem. Martini? Please, he can mix them in his sleep. You want a solid old school craft cocktail? Jeff is the man.

The last legend is Chef Brian Peterson Now the only reason I met him is because he hangs out at Coral Springs Ale House with a guy I know, Kenny Foley. Kenny introduced me to Brian, and me being the food groupie I am, meeting the chef at Runyon’s was a big deal to me. This is the guy who you don’t see who sweating his ass off pumping out some rock solid food that I have come to love. Not to mention he has been here almost three decades and a few dishes are named after him. Chef Brian is unsung hero in my book and I want to thank him for cooking some of the best food in Broward County.

Happy Hour

Giant Beef Ribs with Cole Slaw.  This is an appetizer!

Giant Beef Ribs with Cole Slaw. This is an appetizer!

In this review I’m going to just focus on their happy hour. If you follow me on Yelp you know I’ve written about dinner here so you can read my reviews on Yelp for that. So, when you eat out as much as me and bride do, the places we go are mostly driven by happy hour and Runyon’s has one of the best.

The two years that Runyon’s has had a happy hour, it has been a success said Manager Joe Kelleher. Why more young people don’t come here is mind boggling. You have discounted drinks, a discounted Bar Bite menu, top notch service, and free live entertainment.  On my recent visit, the piano man played some Ray Charles, then hit up some Neil Diamond, and then Prince. Who doesn’t love singing along to Sweet Caroline or Purple Rain? Singing along is encouraged, and we were lucky enough to have a great group of people to sing with. We had a blast. For you younger folks: think a cross between Blue Martini meets Howl at the Moon. That was Runyon’s on the night we went.

French Onion Soup during Happy Hour is only $5

French Onion Soup during Happy Hour is only $5

Don’t think stuffy, snobby, old cranky people. Go in with a group of friends and make it what you want it to be: a great time.

Ok enough on my recruitment message to the young folks. Back to business.

On this occasion, I met my Editor Sharon Baron for happy hour and I wanted her to sample a few items. The first thing I recommended were the the Giant Beef Ribs with cole slaw. For only $9 for a plate of these, they were a great deal. She loved the ribs and said that the huge plate was more than enough for one person. The meat was tender and fell off the bones. On top of that, these babies are cut from their prime rib and would make Fred Flintstone scream with delight.

She also tried a crock of the French Onion Soup which at $5 was a bargain and a Sour Apple Martini. Now I’ve had French Onion Soup in many places, but Runyon’s is pretty close to perfect. I would say Bern’s Steak House in Tampa is the best.  With that said, I would love to compare the soups from both of these places and see who’s the best. Runyon’s soup had plenty of onions and they almost have a silky texture to them, it’s not too salty and the ratio of melted cheese on top is a thing of beauty.  If you are a fan of French Onion Soup, you must try Runyon’s.

I know we are all on a budget, but go to happy hour and live it up for a night. Remember to tell Jack, Joe, Jeff, and Brian that Dan and Coral Springs Talk sent you and Stay Hungry! Beers-4

Four Beers!

 

Runyon’s
9810 W Sample Rd, Coral Springs, FL 33065
954-752-2333
Happy Hour is served: Monday-Friday 3:00-6:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 4:00-6:30 p.m. Reduced price appetizers
Live entertainment Sun-Thurs 6:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m Fri-Sat 6:00 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.

About Dan I. Cook

avatar Native of Broward, Food Warrior, Beer Ninja, Wine Fraud, and Former Marine. I will give you an honest opinion of my experience. I write for free and I dine with my OWN money. I don't want coupons or gifts. So go screw yourself if you think that will work to make your review better. Whether it's high-end food or the dollar menu, I will steer you in the proper direction. I love Broward and especially the Coral Springs area. I take pride with what I type and I hope you enjoy my twisted take on food reviews or as I call them, Food Stories. LOL. Stay Hungry!

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  • Ira

    Excellent article, and a NEEDED article. (No, I don’t know Dan at all, or Jack. I swear.)

    We forget what a 5-star place this used to be, maybe still is, and we’re still living with preconceived notions of overly expensive, old farts only, etc., but it wasn’t really even true then, so it’s not true now. I’ve checked their menu SEVERAL times over the past two years and wanted to go there. (Prices WELL worth what they’re serving, plus VERY reasonable specials. And I know they took steps to make it highly more affordable immediately when the recession first hit.)

    But I’m married, and she said no, because she’s a …

    Well, I don’t want to get into that right now. (My wife is the pickiest eater on earth. You know the type–a real pain in the ass.)

    But after reading this article, I AM going to pay them a visit, even if it’s just for beers and appetizer at the bar. And I’m gonna tell them Dan sent me.

    Thanks for reminding me, Dan!

    • Dan I Cook

      Thanks Ira! Sometimes we forget what great places we have right in our own backyard. Runyons is that type of place. This is true. I don’t know you so again I appreciate the praise. All I know is we need to support our local shops and restaurants.

    • Markm

      Nice review in Runyon’s… I’ve been to Runyon’s a number of times over the years (Coral Springs since 96) but some time had past before I visited just before Thanksgiving. We went for a small family birthday dinner and the food was superb as always. What really stood out though was the live music and the gentleman playing the piano. So this past New Year’s Eve my wife and I were going to have a quiet night and head over to Sakura for a little sushi. Being New Year’s Eve we thought it would be a good idea to stop by Runyon’s on the way for a cocktail. I figured it would be no problem to find a couple of seats at the bar or at a high top table. As soon

      • Markm

        As we pulled into the parking lot I could tell Runyon’s was at near capacity. We went in anyways and the only two seats available were at the Piano. You can actually sit there to eat and drink. We ordered a couple of drinks and ended up staying until 1:00 a.m. We has apps and shared an amazing portion of Salmon and danced too. Great New Year’s Eve. Sorry Sakura but you do have great Sushi.