Outback Steakhouse’s $300,000-plus refit under way; latest in updates at Riverbend Center neighborhood (Chef Chen, Kroger).

Outback Steakhouse’s $300,000-plus refit under way; latest in updates at Riverbend Center neighborhood (Chef Chen, Kroger).

Outback Steakhouse in Rome is getting a refit — but won’t be closing during the process. Photo by Natalie Simms/Hometown.
Temporary sign atop that familiar green roof. Photo by Natalie Simms/Hometown.

Construction crews were on the seen just after sunrise Monday as the refit continues on Outback Steakhouse at 1404 Turner McCall Blvd., part of the Riverbend Center complex that also is home to Kroger. It appears the signage was the first to go as crews and cranes were on at least two sides of the restaurant at 6:50 Monday morning. The above photo was taken later in the day as some of the signage was down and — and a temporary erected (photo to the right). Other improvements were under way as well.

Open for business: The restaurant will not close during the updates, maintaining hours of 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. Sunday. Friends who dined there Monday evening report no issues. For more: Outback.

Background: In June, we first reported the pending $300,000 exterior renovation job as filed in building permits in the Carnegie Building. Outback signage will cost another $18,000.

‘Now open’ at Chef Chen. Monday photo by Natalie Simms/Hometown.


Riverbend trend include Chef Chen The Outback updates follow the Kroger pharmacy expansion ($100,000) and the larger-than-ever Chef Chen Buffet — and now Hibachi. A trusted foodie stopped in over the weekend and had this unsolicited report:

“They have retained and expanded the traditional buffet they had. Added are a sushi bar and a Hibachi grill line. (It) is a smaller version of the Genghis Grill concept. You fill your plate with as many vegetables and starches as you want. You then choose as many proteins as you want (chicken, steak, eggs and imitation crab meat were available this day) and one or more of four sauces (soy, hibachi, teriyaki and chow menu). The chef dumps it on the grill, cooks it in front of you, and serves it on a fresh plate. The all-you-can-eat cost was only $8.99 plus $1.80 for iced tea…  Very good food and service. I will go back.”

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