Porterhouse Restaurant celebrated its recent grand opening Wednesday at its new downtown San Mateo location, offering classic steakhouse options at 164 S. B St.
Porterhouse owner Hamdi Ugur was on hand to welcome the mayor and other community members to thank them for their support and feedback.
“Everything has been really positive,” Hamdi Ugur said. “It’s been amazing.”
Porterhouse left its old location at 60 E. Third Ave. and went to the new one in December because it had more space and was on the corner where more people could find them. Events director Zella Ugur, Hamdi’s daughter, noted that the new location had a soft opening for three weeks, and people have dined there that they wouldn’t have before because the old location was out of the view and it was not so welcoming. Butchering manager Steve Ugur, who also co-owns Pausa Bar and Cookery on Fourth Avenue, said the old location was hidden. People could not see the sign of the restaurant, the restaurant was considered a best kept secret.
“This is a huge milestone and achievement, and we’re very happy with the space,” said Steve Ugur.
The new building location was originally used for the Bank of San Mateo in 1924 as a local option for the big business banks of the time, creating a nostalgic atmosphere that the new restaurant leans into. High ceilings, movie posters and billboards from the Golden Age of Hollywood also add to the atmosphere. Previous tenants include Dahlia Mexican Grill, Vault 164 Restaurant and Bar and B Street Billiards.
The upscale steakhouse prides itself on its aged steaks from Omaha, Nebraska, and its grass-fed, dry-aged California ranch beef, which it continues to serve. The steaks have been dry-aged in-house, and people can see the restaurant’s meat cabinet when they walk into the restaurant. Executive chef Mynor Ajvix is also staying on at the restaurant. Other menu options include seafood, a cauliflower filet option for vegetarians, homemade dips and desserts like Bananas Foster, and a new cocktail menu.
“I want to make sure my customers have the best quality and a great experience,” said Hamdi Ugur.
Hamdi, who also goes by Bruno, said the pandemic was tough on his business as many restaurants closed, but he kept staff on the payroll because he didn’t want to lose his longtime employees who had been with him for more than 10 years. . Staffing has also proven more difficult post-pandemic. Her resilience and hard work come from her life experiences, such as when she came to the United States in 1977 and started as a dishwasher before working at various restaurants and jobs, often working three jobs at once. He also previously managed Bogie’s Restaurant in San Mateo. Ugur first opened Porterhouse in 2007 and also ran Spiedo’s Ristorante in the same location where Pausa is now.
“In life, you don’t give up,” Hamdi Ugur said. “You have to be creative and move forward.”
San Mateo Mayor Amourence Lee hoped the work of Ugur and his family would help revitalize the building and the area.
“Porterhouse coming here right now is the right step to take this block in a new direction,” Lee said.
San Mateo Chamber of Commerce CEO Erica Wood said the beloved flagship restaurant was an important part of the area in bringing foot traffic downtown.
“The chamber is here to support our restaurants that contribute so much to our local economy and community,” Wood said.
Porterhouse is open Sunday to Thursday from 5pm to 9pm and Friday and Saturday from 5pm to 10pm. Go to porterhousesanmateo.com for more information.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 102