Exclusive look inside the new Ranch Steakhouse & Grill that is 'improved in every way'

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 10 Jan 2019

A unique taste of the West in Louth is about to get even tastier with a new and improved restaurant that the owners have been “dreaming about for years” ready to swing open its saloon doors.

Famed for its meaty selection of burgers, ribs and steaks, The Ranch Steakhouse & Grill has been a mainstay of Queen Street since 2012 and has enjoyed huge popularity and a number of awards after re-launching in 2015 following a major fire.

Now, months of secretive behind-the-scenes work around the corner in Aswell Street has culminated in the old venue closing for the last time on Sunday to be replaced by an expansive new restaurant that will welcome its first customers on Friday.

Exclusive look in the all-new Ranch

The venue’s owner Oliver Crossland says his team’s acquisition of neighbouring favourite Mr Chips last year paved the way for a “perfected” version of The Ranch to move in next door, which he insists improves on the old place “in every way”.

“It’s all been planned out from the start,” he said. “We’ve been planning it for years, nothing’s been winged. We sat down with everyone and improved every single part of it.”

Part of the original restaurant’s appeal was embedded in its escapist, Western-themed vibe that came from a combination of its décor-laden bare-brick walls and its lively, yet relaxed atmosphere enhanced by a soundtrack of classic American music. It's something Mr Crossland was adamant must be carried over.

He said: “It’s much improved, it’s like a perfected version of The Ranch. We were very nervous about it. When we first came in we didn’t know if we could do it. But as soon as we got all the brickwork in, it came together.

“Part of it was to make it bigger and not ruin the atmosphere. We honestly believe we’ve kept it – it’s exactly the same.

“The other one was getting a bit run down anyway. We were planning a refurb but then this came along.”

The bar area at the all-new Ranch in Louth (Image: Jon Corken/GrimsbyLive)

Restaurant manager Abigail Rance added: “We got a piece of paper and said, ‘these are the things we want to keep and this is what we want to improve’. Then we put it all into one and anything we haven’t got like disabled access, downstairs toilets, and heating, we brought in. There’s not one thing that we haven’t got."

The minuscule bar of the old place, which was more of a waiting area, is “actually a bar now”, a sprawling Old West saloon-esque span of wood and stools offering a wider selection of drinks from wines and beers to cocktails and gins, with more planned further down the line.

Some of the new features are more subtle, including individual dimly-lit bulbs above many of the 31 tables, which Mr Crossland says will create “a lot more atmosphere, especially on the tables for two”. Meanwhile, seating numbers have increased from 92 at the old venue to 155 in the new eatery.

The large dining area adjacent to the bar in The Ranch, Louth (Image: Jon Corken/GrimsbyLive)

The restaurant itself is effectively split into two but open enough to not have a different ambiance from front to back. The bar section leads seamlessly into a dining area that carries across the “old Ranch vibe”.

An archway then opens up into a huge part of the old Mr Chips, which has been transformed into an open-plan dining area with a wider selection of table sizes as well as a stage in the corner for live band performances.

Meanwhile, even larger parties will be well catered for with a “VIP area” named Skeg’s Saloon found at the back of the restaurant in its own small private room featuring an enormous banquet-size 22-seater table.

Mr Crossland says bands will be “quite regular” and a speaker system will ensure even those in the bar area can enjoy the music, but any performances shouldn’t put off anyone looking for a quieter evening.

He said: “Obviously tables of two might not want to be here watching a band but there’s still plenty of choice. If you still want to come on a Saturday night when there’s a rock band that you’re not particularly bothered about, you can still go in the other area and it’ll be a lot quieter.”

Staff pictured ready for the opening of the new Ranch Steakhouse & Grill, in Louth, are, from left, Craig Collins, head chef, Lisa- Marie Crossland, chef, Oliver Crossland, owner, Abigail Rance, restaurant manager, Cassie Rance, dessert chef, with Josh Keetley, sous chef, front (Image: Jon Corken/GrimsbyLive)

Of course, there’s the food, and regulars can expect the same selection of burgers, steaks and ribs they’ve feasted on over the past few years, and there’s more being planned in the future.

Head chef Craig Collins said: “In the old kitchen you couldn’t swing a cat round, but in this one you can swing a cow! Further on down the line, we’ve spoken about getting a smoker and things like that so we can improve the menu even further.”

Meanwhile, a new dessert preparation area adjacent to the main kitchen will deliver a fresh selection of homemade puddings in the future, adding the likes of waffles to the current array of sundaes and cheesecake.

Assuring regulars and newcomers alike they will love the new venue, Mr Crossland added: “I know I’m blowing my own trumpet, but this is brilliant!”

The new Ranch Steakhouse & Grill is located at 17-19 Aswell Street, Louth. For more information and bookings, visit theranchlouth.co.uk

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