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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
9810 W Sample Rd, Coral Springs, FL 33065
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.