Food & Wine

Eat All About It: Fredy’s Steakhouse opens as New York Richie’s closes

Transformation is in the air in Kennewick’s dining scene.

Two well-known though dramatically different restaurants closed, and their old spaces are being transformed into new concepts.

In Kennewick’s Southridge District, Fredy’s Steakhouse has opened in the former Mai House Seafood Grill and Bar spot And over on Clearwater, New York Richie’s, a sports-tinged pizza joint on West Clearwater, is closed and a Korean restaurant is close to opening in its spot.

Mai House, an upscale seafood restaurant, closed in mid-January, and the space was renovated by new owners into Fredy’s Steakhouse & Bar, an equally upscale eatery.

Manager Jeff Ballard said Fredy’s held a soft opening earlier this month, and will schedule a grand opening in a few weeks once signs and menus are complete.

Fredy’s is billed as a classic steakhouse where everything is made from scratch, and the steaks, sourced from local ranches, are hand cut, aged and smoked on site.

Ballard said that means it will serve the best cuts with the best flavor, with inch-and-a-half cuts of meat weighing 18 to 24 ounces before they’re cooked. Fredy’s will offer half-sized cuts too, along with seafood and pasta offerings.

“We’re trying to bring in quality-made steaks,” he said.

Fredy’s is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to close, which varies. It is at 3617 Plaza Way, near the Southridge Sports and Entertainment Complex.

On the pizza joint end of the spectrum, New York Richie’s closed quietly and, apparently, suddenly at 5011 W. Clearwater Ave., near the Edison Street intersection. There is a New York Richie’s operating in Pendleton. The Kennewick location celebrated all things sports and rewarded Tri-City Americans fans with pizza slices if the hockey team scored a goal in the first minute of each period.

Its spot will reopen “soon” as Seoul Fusion Korean Restaurant, offering traditional and contemporary Korean and Asian fare, such as teriyaki, sweet and sour chicken, General Tso’s and other dishes.

Eat pancakes, help Children’s Miracle Network

The Kennewick and Pasco IHOP restaurants are participating in National Pancake Day on March 7.

IHOP customers can buy Miracle Balloons for $1 and $5 to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network in the days leading up to the event. People who buy a $5 balloon receive a $5 discount on their next visit.

Between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on pancake day, IHOP will offer guests a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes. Guests are invited to make a donation to the nonprofit, which provides life-saving treatment, programs and medical equipment. Thousands of patients from central Washington are treated annually at Virginia Mason Memorial in Seattle. The Kennewick IHOP is at 6511 W. Canal Drive and the Pasco restaurant is at 5015 Road 68.

Fiction @ J. Bookwalter is one of nation’s best

Food & Wine magazine named the restaurant at Richland’s J. Bookwalter Winery one of the best winery restaurants. Fiction @ J. Bookwalter is one of 17 on-site winery restaurants, and the only one in Washington to be included on the list. It previously received a similar honor from travel editors polled by USA Today.

Fiction is led by chefs Francisco Mendoza and Justin Webb and serves lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch, all featuring dishes built around local ingredients.

Got a dining tip? Ping me! Wendy Culverwell: 509-582-1514, @WendyCulverwell