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A different cut: Jersey City steakhouse aims to attract female diners

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The sign outside Liberty Prime in Jersey City
The sign outside Liberty Prime in Jersey City - (Liberty Prime)

A new steakhouse opened its doors in Jersey City earlier this month. But don't expect to see the dark wood, aged leather and massive cuts of meat seen in many traditional steakhouses. At Liberty Prime Steakhouse, everything from the design to the menu has been engineering to appeal specifically — although not exclusively — to the female demographic.

"Let's be honest, women love steak, so why should steakhouses all be cigars and whiskey?" said George Makrogiannis, the 28-year-old proprietor of Liberty Prime.

"What we're trying to push is female-friendly, not female-exclusive," he said. "We gave a nice, sexy touch to the place."

So Makrogiannis, who comes from a family of restaurateurs, largely steered clear of dark wood in the design of Liberty Prime. Instead, he focused on a sleek gray-and-red color scheme, with lots of uplighting and purse hooks underneath the bar.

The menu also includes several fish options and smaller cuts of meat, intended to appeal to female diners, with names that play on fashion references.

The Rare Style, for example, is a 6-ounce filet wrapped in bacon and served with a 4-ounce lobster tail. There's also a "Mini Skirt" Steak Salad and a list of cocktails that includes the "ManHottan."

The restaurant launched on Oct. 13 by hosting an event dedicated to breast cancer awareness. Feedback from that event, coupled with the input of Makrogiannis' sisters, is helping him shape the restaurant.

As Liberty Prime gets up and running, he's planning to brand the restaurant's signature red and create a line of Liberty Prime lipstick that could be sold on site. He's also hoping to create Liberty Prime purse hooks that women could use at their tables, and to offer random discounts on Fridays and Saturdays for women who come in wearing glasses or high heels, or who are wearing their hair down, or up.

"We want females to come in and enjoy our steakhouse," Makrogiannis said.

For now, Liberty Prime, located at 111 Montgomery Street, is open only for dinner, from 5 to 10:30 p.m. during the week and until 11:30 p.m. on weekends. The bar, which Makrogiannis is calling Prime Time, will be open until 1 a.m. during the week and 2 a.m. on weekends.

This article has been updated to include the restaurant's address. Thanks, reddit.

 

Mary Johnson

Mary Johnson

Mary Johnson is a staff reporter covering midsized and growth companies, as well as women in business. Mary lived in Fla., Texas, Conn. and N.Y. before moving to N.J. with her husband and infant son. Email her at maryj@njbiz.com. She is @mjohns422 on Twitter. Read her blog, Breaking Glass.

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