Don't ask Jeff Ruby how much he spent on his namesake restaurant in Columbus.
"We don't know," said the founder of Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment, a small but well-known restaurant group based in Cincinnati.
"I had an unlimited budget and I exceeded it," he said.
Opulence is the byword for Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse, scheduled to open Friday, Dec. 1, at 89 E. Nationwide Blvd. in downtown Columbus.
It seems Ruby spared no expense on the 10,000-square-foot space, which offers numerous ornate -- and expensive, Ruby said -- fixtures, including antique mirrors, a panoply of sparkling chandeliers, stained glass, red-velvet upholstery and old-fashioned, high-end light fixtures.
For the serious American omnivore, the urban-steakhouse concept long has been considered the ultimate luxury, a fashionable setting where laughter and good times flow as effortlessly as the pricey red wine.
Ruby said his restaurant would not disappoint: The restaurant maintains the cozy, clubby feel of a swanky downtown steakhouse intended to suit multiple tastes and generations.
"I call it the 'Jeff Ruby experience,' " Ruby said. "It's different from any restaurant in any town. You leave with more than a doggy bag -- you leave with a memory."
Customers also will leave lighter in the wallet, with steaks starting at $44 for the 8-ounce filet mignon and topping out at $115 for the 33-ounce dry-aged tomahawk rib-eye.
Kobe beef from Japan, not domestic wagyu, will be sold by the ounce at market price.
The menu is expansive, with various cuts of meat (for example, herb-crusted rack of elk), seafood, appetizers and familiar steakhouse sides.
A custom raw-and-sushi bar, a rarity in a steakhouse setting, also is included.
The interior has an attractive lounge, a spacious dining room and several private-event spaces, including the 100-seat basement. A patio has been enclosed, offering room for 60 guests.
Jeff Ruby's takes over a space that has been home to numerous restaurants during the past century, including Damon's Grill, Michael O'Toole's Restaurant & Bar and, most recently, 89 Fish & Grill.
"We've been waiting to do Columbus for a long time but we didn't have the right space, the right time, the right ... landlord," Ruby said.
David Kincheloe, president of National Restaurant Consultants in Denver, said Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse is poised to be a big player on the local circuit.
"It's a known name in Ohio, so there's probably already some built-in clientele," he said. "It's going to have a little staying power from that standpoint."
A demographic shift also must be considered: the millennial generation's propensity to eat out frequently at quality restaurants, Kincheloe said.
"You'll see an initial boost, like every restaurant, and it will level out probably," he said.