2017-05-18 / Business News

A STEAK IN NORTH PALM

Carl Von Luger’s Steakhouse and Seafood will bring its menu to the village’s country club


This rendering shows how the new North Palm Beach Country Club’s clubhouse will look once the $15 million project is completed, sometime in 2018. 
VILLAGE OF NORTH PALM BEACH This rendering shows how the new North Palm Beach Country Club’s clubhouse will look once the $15 million project is completed, sometime in 2018. VILLAGE OF NORTH PALM BEACH Big restaurant news for the little Village of North Palm Beach. A noted steakhouse from Scranton, Pa., will be part of the multi-million-dollar redo of the North Palm Beach Country Club.

Robert Dickert, owner of Carl Von Luger’s Steakhouse and Seafood, will bring the famed porterhouse and the rest of the steakhouse menu to the main restaurant at the club, open to both members and the public.

Carl Von Luger’s has ties to the famed Peter Luger’s in Brooklyn and Long Island.

Mr. Dickert said he’s excited to be a part of the South Florida dining community.

“I think it (North Palm Beach) needs a good shot in the arm.”

Mr. Dickert had been looking for a location for the traditional steakhouse after buying a second home in Port St. Lucie. He’s thinking of spending much of his time in Florida.


Robert Dickert, owner of Carl Von Luger’s Steakhouse and Seafood, stands in his Scranton, Pa., restaurant. 
COURTESY PHOTO Robert Dickert, owner of Carl Von Luger’s Steakhouse and Seafood, stands in his Scranton, Pa., restaurant. COURTESY PHOTO “I just turned 60. But I’m a young 60. I decided I wanted to do something with restaurants if I move down. I was looking at the PGA corridor in Mirasol — an Italian restaurant used to be in the plaza. That didn’t work out. I looked at the Prosperity Farms plaza with the new Trader Joe’s. That fell through. I’ve been all over that area looking,” he said.

Then, “I answered an RFP (request for proposal) for the new country club.

To his surprise, he was awarded the restaurant — and the entire food operation at the club. “I wasn’t expecting g that at all,”, he said. “It’s a little overwhelming.”


Carl Von Luger Steakhouse and Seafood will open toward the end of 2018 at the rebuilt North Palm Beach Country Club. 
VILLAGE OF NORTH PALM BEACH Carl Von Luger Steakhouse and Seafood will open toward the end of 2018 at the rebuilt North Palm Beach Country Club. VILLAGE OF NORTH PALM BEACH The steakhouse will be a sibling to Scranton’s Carl Von Luger, but for South Florida, tentatively branded as CVL Steak and Seafood.

Mr. Dickert has been an executive chef for more than 30 years, working in his family’s famed steakhouses, and opening others.

His ties to Peter Luger’s are through his grandmother, Peter Luger’s niece. The legendary steakhouse became the family business, and his father worked there through the 1980s.

“Our family sold out in the ’50s, but my father stayed on to help run it until the ’80s. Then I opened up nine other steakhouses: Rothmann’s Steakhouse and Grill, Burton and Doyle, several others,” he said.

“I came up to Scranton on vacation and fell in love with it. I opened my first restaurant 15 years ago in Clark’s Summit, Great Uncle Peter’s. I was up there eight years, then came here six years ago in downtown with Carl Von Luger’s. I added the Von as a tribute to our German heritage.”

With this latest one, he’s expanded the traditional steakhouse menu. “We have the porterhouse — we’re famous for it — and the T-bone, sirloin, and rib steak. But we also do a great chicken Parmesan and we do a tremendous amount of seafood.”

How will this play with Ruth’s Chris right down the road? Longtime restaurant broker Rickard Lackey of the Lackey Companies said they’re likely to do well.

“I think them spending millions on a rebuild is a good sign,” he said. “I like what they’re doing.”

But, he said, “There are other locations, that if I were representing a cousin of Peter Luger’s, I would have found them that were a better fit.”

A freestanding building is more desirable, and that’s what Ruth’s Chris has, he said. “Ruth’s Chris does very well there — and in all of Palm Beach County. It’s exposure and location. It (Carl Von Luger’s) will be productive, but it’s the extent of its success.”

The restaurant will have its own sign on U.S. 1 and will be open to both members and the public. The current building will be demolished and rebuilt as a $15 million resort-style club.

Mr. Dickert said he was told 44,000 rounds of golf are played at the club annually, and he’s looking at those numbers as a base for potential steakhouse diners.

Along with the signature restaurant, he’ll operate a farm-to-table restaurant and catering/event space in the country club, along with other food spots planned, such as cabanas and poolside bars.

The Bear’s Den is the secondary restaurant at the club, open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. He plans to turn it into a farm-to-table restaurant. It’s a nod to his daughter, who is a part of the family restaurant business.

“My daughter had MS and got tired of taking injections. She started eating clean, juicing, and we started a farm-to-table restaurant in Scranton called Terra Preta. Since she’s been eating this way, she’s been pharma free for 3½ to 4 years,” he said. She and her husband run the restaurant, he said.

They’ve already been researching farms and ranches around the state to source the freshest products available, including grass-fed meats and organic vegetables.

“It’ll be like Christopher’s, more or less, but with a little less vegan,” he said. “We’ll be doing all the fresh juicing there.”

A small vegetable garden and beehives for honey next to the restaurant also are in the blueprints. Other plans include a number of special events and catering that includes kid parties for families coming to the new pool, weddings and more.

“We’ve been talking with the township, and they’re partners with me,” he said. “I think it was a good deal for both of us. If I make money, they make money.”

A December 2018 date is projected for the grand opening. ¦

Return to top