While Landry's, Inc. has cemented itself as America's biggest dining, hospitality and entertainment company, that doesn’t tell the entire story of our dramatic growth. Our portfolio includes over 45,000 employees at more than 400 properties, with hotels, casinos, resort destinations, restaurants and amusements. Landry’s has come a long way in three decades – and we don’t plan on slowing down any time soon.
Landry's successes have multiplied rapidly since Chairman of the Board, President and CEO Tilman J. Fertitta bought his first two restaurants. Fertitta is a prominent Houston entrepreneur who grew up peeling shrimp and waiting tables at his father's surfside eatery in Galveston, Texas.
He was a partner in the first Landry's Seafood House Restaurant, which opened in 1980 in Katy, Texas, and the slightly more upscale Willie G's Seafood & Steak House that opened a year later in nearby Houston. He acquired controlling interest of both restaurants in 1986.
As economic times grew pressing around the country, banks were failing and businesses were struggling to pay their creditors. But Fertitta envisioned a national chain of Gulf Coast-style seafood restaurants that welcomed patrons with a casual, authentic and entertaining atmosphere. He created an expansion plan and stuck with it in spite of adversity.
Building the Company
Landry's Seafood House first expanded to Galveston, where its signature marquee, energetic atmosphere and great food and service made it an instant success. Soon, the chain was operating across Texas in San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Austin and Dallas. With great reviews and lines of customers, the Company grew from 2 to 11 restaurants in just 5 years.
Fertitta took the Company public on August 19, 1993. Fueled with investment capital, Landry's acquired Joe's Crab Shack in 1994, expanded the menu, tweaked the atmosphere and soon launched its second concept.
In 1996, Landry's added the publicly traded The Crab House Restaurants, founded in Miami in 1976, to its holdings. With its traditional East Coast flair, The Crab House was a perfect complement to Landry's other seafood restaurants.
Entertaining Even Bigger Ideas
The Company added turf to its surf in 1998 when it acquired Cadillac Bar, a favorite Mexican restaurant and grill in Houston for more than 20 years. The same year, the Company completed the development of its first major specialty project, the 35-acre Kemah Boardwalk. Located about 20 miles from Houston on the edge of Galveston Bay, the Boardwalk entertains about 3 million visitors a year. Its attractions include 10 themed restaurants, retail shops, a first class hotel, a water garden, a 400-slip marina, a train, the Boardwalk FantaSea charter yacht, amusement rides and midway games. Among the eateries is Landry's first Aquarium Restaurant, featuring a 50,000 gallon tank of tropical fish.
Landry's leapt further into the specialty realm in late 2000, when it acquired the world's premier themed restaurant concept, the publicly traded Rainforest Cafe. The only full service restaurant concept operated in all Walt Disney theme parks worldwide, Rainforest Cafe offers customers a stimulating "Wild Place to Shop and Eat."
A Growing Recipe for Success
Growth accelerated in 2002, when Landry's acquired Muer Seafood Restaurants, Chart House restaurants, and Saltgrass Steak House. Muer Seafood Restaurants — located in unique, high profile and landmark locations across the nation — include Charley's Crab, Big Fish, Gandy Dancer, Grand Concourse and other fine establishments. The upscale Chart House restaurants are predominantly on the East and West coasts, in beautifully scenic locales. Saltgrass Steak House eateries throughout Texas recapture the flavor of the open campfire with char-grilled steaks, chicken and seafood. Also acquired with Saltgrass was Babin's Seafood House, which added New Orleans flair to Landry's varied seafood restaurant concepts.
Making a Splash
In 2003, the Company opened the Downtown Aquarium — a 20-acre entertainment complex in Houston with a public aquarium, two restaurants, a bar, banquet facilities, amusement rides and midway games. The attractions include a 100,000 gallon, floor-to-ceiling centerpiece aquarium, the tallest cylindrical tank in North America and a 200,000 gallon shark tank. An Aquarium Restaurant has also been developed in Nashville.
More Aquarium excitement also landed in Denver, where Landry's redeveloped the 12-acre Ocean Journey complex into Downtown Aquarium Denver. This world-class attraction houses more than 500 species of aquatic life in a three story, one-million-gallon facility.
Rooms with a View
Galveston. Landry's is a major player in the Texas hospitality industry. The Company's master-planned redevelopment of Galveston's Seawall Boulevard — which includes the new Galveston Island Convention Center — will take tourism to a new level in the island city. The Company manages the Four Diamond San Luis Resort, Spa and Conference Center and the adjacent Hilton Resort. Landry's acquired the Holiday Inn on the Beach in 2003.
Houston. One of Landry's shining stars is The Inn at the Ballpark, a nostalgic-themed 12-story hotel located across the street from Houston's Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros Major League Baseball Club. The hotel features more than 200 spacious guest rooms and 5,000 square feet of meeting space.
Kemah. The Boardwalk Inn, a beautiful 52-room boutique hotel developed and opened by Landry's in 1998, makes the Company's Kemah Boardwalk a multi-day experience.
Putting Our Signature on Dining
Landry's owns a number of exceptional individual restaurants, which is known as our Signature Group. These restaurants represent the best of the Landry’s best, including Houston's most superb steak houses, Vic & Anthony's and Brenner's Steakhouse. In addition, Willie G’s is known for its upscale atmosphere, as well as its delivery of the finest steak and seafood around. The Signature Group welcomes more than steaks and seafood, however. Both Grotto and La Griglia complete the menu with their remarkable, authentic Italian cuisine.
Entering a Golden Era
Landry's hit the jackpot in 2005 with the acquisition of the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casinos in Las Vegas and Laughlin, Nevada. The Golden Nugget Las Vegas is the only Nevada hotel to be the proud recipient of the AAA Four Diamond Award consecutively since 1977 and now features newly remodeled first class amenities such as a luxurious lobby and grand valet entrance, VIP Lounge, High-Limit Slot Salon, two story Spa Tower Suites and tranquil Spa and Salon. Vic & Anthony's Steakhouse offers world-class upscale dining and Lillie's Asian Cuisine features a fusion of Cantonese and Szechwan cuisines. At Golden Nugget Laughlin, which is uniquely located right on the banks of the Colorado River, Landry's added three restaurants — Saltgrass Steak House, Joe's Crab Shack and Harlow's, and upgraded the breathtaking river-view rooms.
Taking Entertainment to New Heights
The newly remodeled Tower of the Americas, which Landry's reopened in summer 2006, offers the best views of San Antonio from 750 feet high. Chart House, an upscale restaurant, seats 250 people and features magnificent views of the city, and a Texas-themed 4-D, multi-sensory theater takes visitors on a high-flying trip across the Lone Star State. The view, combined with top-notch catering, creates an event space like no other in San Antonio.
A Prehistoric Family Adventure
Another original venture for Landry's was T-REX Cafe, which opened at the Legends at Village West in Kansas City, Kansas, in summer 2006. T-REX is an interactive attraction that features full-service dining and a retail store, including the opportunity to make a prehistoric friend through Build-A-Dino by Build A Bear Workshop. Designed with elements of water, fire and ice, this experience comes to life with bubbling geysers, animatronic dinosaurs, a real fossil dig site, paleontology lab activities, and an enthralling ice cave. Upon entering, visitors are transported into a prehistoric world filled with endless opportunities to educate and be entertained. Simply put, at T-REX, guests can Eat, Shop, Explore and Discover.
A Bold Direction
After going public in 1993 with a valuation of $30 million, the company had grown to an astounding $1.7 billion by 2011. In 2010, already being the majority shareholder, CEO Tilman Fertitta purchased all outstanding shares of stock and gained sole control and ownership of the company again. Now privately held, Landry’s has again embarked on a journey with a new vision of the future which includes that same focus on development and growth that allowed us to prosper for the last several decades.
Breaking New Ground
Not known to rest on our laurels, Landry’s made even bigger moves in 2010, adding a number of new restaurant properties to the staggering list. These new and exciting restaurants ranged from a global brand based on one of the nineties’ best movies, along with a seafood chain that is known for its intimacy, dedication and craft.
The Oceanaire Seafood Room. We hoisted our sails with The Oceanaire in 2010, bringing their 12 units from great spots such as Washington, D.C. and Boston into the fold. Although they boast national acclaim for unique, finely prepared dishes, The Oceanaire is known first and foremost for flying in the freshest seafood from around the world daily. Their menu changes each day to reflect this and their servers are practiced in educating diners about the best possible choices.
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. When Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. became part of the Landry’s family, we knew we were in for something special. As the only restaurant chain based on a major motion picture, Bubba Gump is remarkable in its own right, apart even from their fun atmosphere and memorable food. Their 36 locations span the entire globe, including popular tourist spots that attract families far and wide.
Claim Jumper. What started as a simple restaurant in 1977 has turned into a powerful Western chain with 37 wonderful locations. Claim Jumper’s rustic atmosphere makes one feel right at home, offering diners hearty portions, comfortable food and a great selection of beverages. The varied menu sports everything from pizza to Certified Angus Beef ® and USDA Choice steaks.
Out with the Old, in with the Gold
In 2011, Landry’s further expanded the illustrious Golden Nugget Hotel & Casinos brand by bringing it back to Atlantic City after a decades-long absence. Having purchased the Trump Marina, the former mainstay that was attached to the Frank S. Farley Marina, Landry’s is in position to bring the Golden Nugget back with a bang through a series of astounding transformations and renovations, each more dramatic than the last. These stunning changes include Vic & Anthony’s, the 30th Chart House location, updated rooms and suites and a complete revamp of all the gaming rooms. Along with these updates, Landry’s also added The Deck, a place to party out by the arena, as well as Red Room, an upscale nightclub. We are ready to make the Golden Nugget the hot spot in Atlantic City!
The Growth Continues
Landry’s continues to move onward and upward with the addition of two exciting new restaurant groups. Started in the 1970s, McCormick & Schmick’s is now one of the most recognized and respected seafood restaurants in the country. It’s easy to see why – diners coast-to-coast have fallen in love with their fresh approach to dining. This fresh approach is evident throughout the entire McCormick & Schmick’s experience, with menus reflecting the style of each Executive Chef while also highlighting fresh and local seafood varieties at the peak of their seasons.
Morton’s – The Steakhouse also joined Landry’s. For over 30 years, Morton’s has been on a mission to provide “The Best Steak… Anywhere.” Focusing on quality, consistency and genuine hospitality, Morton’s seeks to provide not only memorable cuisine, but a memorable experience as well. With fresh, succulent seafood and their famed USDA prime-aged steak, it’s no surprise that Morton’s has thrilled diners all over the world.
While one of these restaurants focuses on seafood and the other specializes in steak, both of these famous brands continually raise the bar in terms of quality and excellence.