Dinner Is Served
Kinnard and Drake’s 1830 Chophouse Brings Casual Fine Dining to Boone County
Writer / Jon Shoulders Photographer / Mariah Krafft
Joe Stein says that Kinnard and Drake’s 1830 Chophouse, the new establishment he co-owns on West Main Street in Lebanon, has filled a major culinary void in the local community.
In November of 2019 Stein, along with his partners Chris Canal and Chef Shawn Sublette, opened Lebanon-based Backroads BBQ, a family-friendly, Texas-style barbecue and southern comfort food concept. Five months later when COVID took hold in the U.S., the partners came up with an idea to help out the local community – an idea that would eventually prompt local officials to approach the partners about opening a steakhouse.
“We decided we would help Backroads support the community by donating meals to families in need – whether from losing a job due to COVID, from just not wanting to go out, or whatever,” says Stein, who co-owns Ideal Food Group, a 70-year-old food distribution company, with Canal. “We decided that for every meal we sold during a 30-day period back then, we would donate a meal to the Boys and Girls Clubs in the area. During that time period we donated close to 4,500 meals to help people out.”
On the heels of this philanthropic effort, a few local leaders, including Mayor Matt Gentry and Boone County Chamber of Commerce representatives, contacted the partners about opening a steakhouse in the area.
“Apparently the city has been desperate to have a steakhouse for years and years, and they asked if we would be interested in putting a steakhouse on the square,” Stein explains. “We then put together a group that launched 1830 Chophouse. It wasn’t necessarily in our long-term plan to go this route, but because of the food distribution company, and because of Shawn being a chef, we thought we had a pretty good team we could put together and bring something to Lebanon that it’s been lacking.”
The partners soon took over the space formerly occupied by People’s Revel Room, and a three-month period of light renovations became the next order of business. The full interior capacity is 125, and Stein says the patio will be able to accommodate up to 60 people when warm weather hits.
“It was pretty much in usable condition, and we just had to add some equipment and tables to the space,” Stein says of the physical preparation and renovation process.
The menu boasts plenty of traditional steakhouse fare including, of course, a range of steak options, as well as pasta, sandwiches, soups, salads and desserts.
“The menu items that stand out the most are our seven-ounce Filet Mignon, our Bone-In Ribeye and our New York Strip,” Stein says. “On our appetizers, our Smoked Tomato Soup is one dish that’s really gotten a great response. We also have Stuffed Mushrooms and a Spinach Artichoke Dip that have been favorites. There’s also your stand-by Shrimp Cocktail with your spicy cocktail sauce.”
The owners decided to give a nod to some local history when choosing a name for the steakhouse.
“Kinnard and Drake were two military men, and it’s debated as to which one discovered Lebanon, so we tipped our hat to them,” Stein says. “Also, 1830 is said to be the year Lebanon was founded by Kinnard and Drake.”
Stein describes the eatery’s overall aesthetic as casual fine dining, where customers don’t have to show up in a suit or dress to have a nice dinner. Reservations can be made via phone or online, and carry-out orders are welcome.
“We have attempted to recreate an old chophouse feel, so there are hardwood floors, dark woods, and high-quality steak at a moderate price,” he says. “On Facebook and other places we’ve been compared price-wise to some middle-of-the-road steakhouses, but for quality we’ve been compared to places like St. Elmo and some of the nicer steakhouses around. We’re going for a quiet, romantic feel.”
Stein adds that Ideal Food Group owns a local slaughterhouse, and the steakhouse’s meats come from a farm within 10 miles of the restaurant, to be processed at a facility in Ladoga and then shipped to 1830 Chophouse.
“It’s hard to get any fresher than our processing cycle,” Stein says.
The steakhouse opened in November of last year, and Stein says locals have responded positively to the concept so far.
“It is exceeding our expectations and our projections wildly,” he says. “On the weekends if you don’t have a reservation you’re probably not going to get in. We’re really looking forward to opening up our outdoor seating when the weather breaks, to create some additional capacity. We’re getting great feedback, and it seems that the community is receiving it well.”
Kinnard and Drake’s 1830 Chophouse is located at 111 West Main Street in Lebanon. For additional info, call 765-764-0764 or visit 1830chophouse.com.
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The service was okay and timely but the wine pour was awful for $10for mediocre chardonnay so we ended up getting a bottle which the waitress never poured 🤨. the pork chop was dry but tasty and the steak was chewy for sure! I suppose we should have ordered a burger or something simple. want to suppylocal and happy to see so many people there! we are not in The Big City