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Local Carnivores 'In Luck' at New River Road Restaurant

Lucky's Steak Plate, a casual burger and steak joint, opened this week on River Road.

If there's anything John Katz says he's learned about the restaurant business, it's that he shouldn't be going into it again.

The seasoned restauranteur, who's spent the past few years buying and flipping properties, got back into the grub game this week despite his better judgment.

You could say he was feeling lucky.

Katz's latest venture, Lucky's Steak Plate, a sleek burger and steak shop that's named for the eponymous riverboat gambling protagonist of the '60s-era television show, Mr. Lucky, opened for business Tuesday.

"Ask anyone in the restaurant business, they'll tell you, 'Don't go into the restaurant business, it’s the worst business in the world," Katz said, pausing. "And, at the same time, it’s the best business in the world."

Missing the social aspect of the foodservice industry and motivated to fix up an old childhood haunt, late last year Katz bought the River Road property that most recently housed the Sub Base.

"I drive by the building every day, and seeing it sitting here for the past so many years aggravated me, quite honestly." he said. "Somebody had to improve it. Nobody else bought it, so I bought it."

In the past year, Katz has restored the rundown property into a sparkling 36-seat restaurant with burgundy wood finished tables and glistening flat screen televisions fastened to the wall.

His tight menu of quality meats available morning, noon and night features an array of Creekstone Farms steaks, Pat LaFrieda burgers, Thumann's hot dogs, baby back ribs and spicy buffalo wings served at a reasonable price.

Katz said he believes Lucky's fills the area's need for both a casual, affordable steak joint and an in-and-out breakfast or lunch spot.

"It'll be fast, friendly and fun," said the affable Katz, who spent time in the kitchen, behind the counter and roaming the floor on Lucky's opening day. 

"I'm the COOOOO," he quipped. "I'm the Chief Operating Officer Overseeing Ongoing Operations, because that's really what you are."

Lucky's website is still under construction, but for more information about Fair Lawn's newest restaurant, visit its Facebook page and scroll through the pictures for menu items and prices.

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Helena Bucket September 23, 2012 at 06:48 PM
I was there yesterday, there were rats all around the dumpster. When I told the owner he said, "What would you like me to do about it?"
Sheira Santos Guzman September 24, 2012 at 08:19 PM
OMG gross! I guess I'll pass in supporting our local burger/steak joint! Disgusting!
Jess Maxwell September 25, 2012 at 12:24 AM
As a customer and employee at Lucky's steak plate I would like to state that Lucky's does not have rats nor has it ever. I would like to tell the public that the owner John has done what many may say to be a miracle, he has gutted the entire establishment previously known as Sub Base and has personally built the place up with his own hands. I think those who have slandered Lucky's with false accusations should be ashamed of themselves. I support Lucky's 100% and if you don't wish to take my word for it then you should come down and see for yourself, I promise you the experience you will recieve at Lucky's will be one you will never forget; from the exceptional service to the spectacular food that makes Lucky's Steak Plate one of a kind.
Helena Bucket September 26, 2012 at 01:39 PM
you just don't wanna lose your job. That place is fkn gross. Wait till ya see the mosquito problem that comes off the river in spring/summer and the fruit fly problem. It's disgusting.
Deleted because of harassment September 26, 2012 at 02:29 PM
Nice way to slander a brand new business, particularly while hiding your real name. Lest you have a false sense of security, it will take the owners one phone call to a lawyer to find out your real, legal name so you can be held accountable. Kudos to the new owners to turn the location into a new place of business that will serve the community as the Sub Base did for decades. Can't wait to try it.
Helena Bucket September 26, 2012 at 08:00 PM
So call a lawyer.

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