Special to the First Coast Register
Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Ponte Vedra Beach was bustling on an evening in late December 2018, as women gathered to mix and mingle, celebrating new friends and the restaurant. The “Friends of Ruth” event — one of two, back-to-back events at the restaurant — was hosted by General Manager Christine Griggs as a thank you to guests and a way of giving back to the people who have enthusiastically supported the restaurant for almost 20 years at the Beaches.
Griggs says the event was all about building relationships and community. She was struck by how connected the “Friends of Ruth” group was.
“Many of the guests knew each other, enjoying the opportunity for camaraderie and making new friendships,” says Griggs. “Whether they are a weekly guest, or a once-a-year, special occasion guest, we strive to give everyone the best steakhouse experience. Our guests know when they come here, they are amongst friends, and that includes our staff.”
The restaurant, which recently completed a $1.3 million renovation, will celebrate 20 years in Ponte Vedra Beach this October.
A Ponte Vedra Beach native, Griggs began her career at the Ponte Vedra location three years ago, first as an intern, and then working her way up to manager. She felt that connection to the people within the community has helped her in her role at the restaurant. Six months ago, Griggs was promoted to general manager. She attended the Episcopal School of Jacksonville and is a graduate of Florida State University.
Pete Tambini, regional vice president of operations for the southeast region, focused on the tradition of hospitality established by Founder Ruth Fertel in 1965.
“Ruth made people feel like friends,” Tambini explains. “We want to continue Ruth’s tradition of southern hospitality and thank the people of the Beaches for being our friends. The ‘Friends Of Ruth’ event is just one of the many ways we give back to the community.”
Tambini says the support of the local community is an important part of the philosophy of the restaurant. Ruth’s Chris Steak House is a sponsor of the DONNA Marathon Weekend, held Feb. 8-10 in 2019. The DONNA Marathon Weekend is an official event by the DONNA Foundation, supporting those affected by breast cancer and funding important breast cancer research.
The Ponte Vedra Beach location features seating for 220 guests in the main dining room, plus room for up to 38 guests in the Library Room, a private dining and event space. The Library Room is equipped with HD satellite conferencing technology, connecting to 115 Ruth’s Chris restaurants across the country.
Ruth’s Chris Steak House has 153 locations worldwide, including 15 locations in Florida; two of which are located in Northeast Florida — Ponte Vedra Beach and Jacksonville’s Riverfront in the Doubletree by Hilton. Ruth’s Chris Steak House Ponte Vedra Beach is located at 814 A1A North, #103.