Kevin Rathbun endures fire, smoke and a broken ankle, but steakhouse is “fantastic”

Kevin Rathbun at KR  SteakBar

Kevin Rathbun at KR SteakBar

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks for Kevin Rathbun and a couple of his namesake restaurants.

First there was a kitchen fire at Rathbun’s in Inman Park that caused smoke and water damage and has kept the restaurant closed since July 4th, while repairs and renovations are underway.

Then, on July 5th, there was a power outage at KR SteakBar in Peachtree Hills that caused smoke from the wood-fired grill to billow from the kitchen and set off alarms, causing a 45-minute evacuation and interruption of dinner service.

Those events pale in comparison to what happened yesterday, though.

While sorting through the damage at Rathbun’s and helping with the clean up, Rathbun managed to trip on a run of conduit and fall through the drop ceiling. Luckily, he was above a freezer/cooler, which broke his fall on the way to floor — though he wound up with a fractured ankle bone.

“I could have landed on my head,” Rathbun said today. “But I wound up pretty unscathed, even if I need to be in a cast for the next six weeks, and maybe have a screw in my ankle. It could have been a lot worse.”

Rathbun said he hopes Rathbun’s will reopen in a week or two.

And he did have a bit of good news, today, when The Daily Meal published America’s 20 Best Steakhouses with Kevin Rathbun Steak at No. 5 on a list that includes Peter Luger in New York and Bern’s in Tampa.

“I think that’s fantastic,” Rathbun said. “That’s the best news I’ve heard in about 24 hours. It makes my heart sing. A Kansas City boy done good with a steakhouse. And we need all the business we can get down there since we don’t have the business at Rathbun’s.”

Here’s an excerpt from The Daily Meal story:

The best steakhouses in America are nothing short of temples, shrines built to honor the deceptively complex art of a perfectly cooked steak. While many of the country’s best steakhouses are replete with dark wood, red leather, and snifters of cognac, plenty more are modern, airy, and unpretentious. Because even the most discerning diner knows that décor is only one aspect of the overall steakhouse experience; when it comes down to it, it’s all about the steak.

At his spacious, whimsically appointed steakhouse, Rathbun is serving steakhouse classics like escargots, seafood towers, dry-aged porterhouse for two and three, a 22-ounce cowboy rib-eye, and 16-ounce New York strips, but there’s also a wide selection of items that you don’t see on most steakhouse menus, like Coca-Cola baby back pork ribs, eggplant fries, lobster fritters, ahi tuna poke, and Asian-style meatballs. If you go twice, order whatever you like. But if you go once, get the steak; we’d recommend that cowboy rib-eye.

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