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Firm senses appetite for steakhouse

Texas Roadhouse is on target for a June 17 opening on Crater Lake Highway near Sportsmen's Warehouse.

Managing partner Hal Reynolds is busy lining up produce suppliers, beer vendors and linen providers.

The foundation slab is poured and framers are next up as the steakhouse giant readies for its first location in Oregon — its final frontier in the lower 48 states. "We're seeing a resurgence in business and jobs coming back here and Medford is fantastic for us with the kind of families we draw," Reynolds said.

The Louisville, Ky.-based steakhouse chain is closing in on 400 restaurants nationwide and posted Texas-sized revenue and profit during 2012, reporting net earnings of $71.2 million on sales of nearly $1.3 billion.

Reynolds expects hiring between 100 and 150 people to staff the restaurant. "That's a broad range," Reynolds said. "Where the economy is, some will carry two or three jobs. If we could hire 75 to 100 full-time people, life would be really good. But in this day in age, that's not likely."

The nearest Texas Roadhouse locations to Medford are Boise, Idaho, and Modesto, Calif., he said, but Eugene and Bend are on the drawing board. The 8,500-square-foot diner will seat 342 and have 23 televisions spread about the venue. "Whether you are a Duck or Beaver, you should be happy," Reynolds said.

Reynolds joined Texas Roadhouse two years ago after 18 years with Red Robin, where he rose to regional operating director in Colorado. He moved his family to Medford from Denver last year in anticipation of the chain's entry into the market. "I've been in the restaurant industry since I was 16, starting with busing and dishwashing and all that fun stuff," Reynolds said. "It gets into your blood. Texas Roadhouse has always been something I've been interested in and I've been driving in this direction. I finally made the decision, and it was really great."

Steaks are hand cut on the premises and bread is made on site, as well. "The atmosphere is a little bit loud and a lot of fun," Reynolds said "Our pricing is really good, too."

Employment applications are available at www.texasroadhouse.com and a portable office will be on site in April.

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or business@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregMTBusiness, and read his blog at www.mailtribune.com/Economic Edge.