Plaza-area Ruth’s Chris Steak House will close March 23

Nearly two decades after entering the Kansas City market, Ruth’s Chris Steak House plans to close March 23.

The famed chain opened in a former On the Border location in the Plaza Steppes, 700 W. 47th St., in 1997. The space was extensively remodeled for a clubby feel.

A statement from Kevin Toomy, president and chief operating officer of Ruth’s Chris Steak House, said in part: “Our Kansas City restaurant will be closing with the expiration of our long-term lease. We have enjoyed our time serving the Kansas City community and thank our team for their dedication to our guests over the past 17 years. We hope to be able to return to Kansas City in the future.”

Toomy said Ruth’s Chris gift cards would be honored in all the company’s locations throughout the U.S.

The company would not say how many employees it has at the Plaza area restaurant.

Ruth’s Chris came to the area with the boast that it was the “home of the serious steaks” — fresh, custom-aged, richly marbled steaks that are hand cut daily.

But it went up against mainstay Plaza III-The Steakhouse on the Country Club Plaza. Then another well-known steak house chain, the Capital Grille, opened a Plaza location in 2000.

Ruth’s Chris also lost some built-in customers when a major Plaza Steppes tenant, the Polsinelli law firm, recently moved a few blocks west to the Plaza Vista.

Officials with the Plaza Steppes did not return phone calls.