Monday, October 26, 2020

Outback Steakhouse

The front area used to have a lot more plants in the front.

Near the entrance to Target and the Manuel Drive stoplight (though a stoplight was not installed until around 2004) is an Outback Steakhouse, a chain restaurant that has been in College Station since its opening around 1993, and one of the handful of local restaurants my family ate at growing up, probably because it was kid-friendly and had a children's menu (the "Joey Menu") complete with a coloring book and crayons.

The building has seen some minor modifications over the years. A new semi-enclosed area was built at some point, and the building was repainted from white to pale green before a significant re-do in 2017 when it was repainted tan and brick red (with the roof repainted black), removing "Steakhouse" from the lettering, as well as removing the palm trees in front of the building.

It also went through an interior update at some point, though the basics (black ceiling tiles, bar area in the center) still remain. I think it was this time when they actually added proper restroom signs (with braille) in addition to the novelty "Blokes" and "Sheilas" signs.

There was a time when Outback Steakhouse was one of the more popular restaurants in town, and in the mid-2000s, before the restaurants along University Drive East really took off but while the university was still growing, lines would sometimes stretch out the door, but that's been gone for a while now, as is the sidewalk that used to be much longer toward the road (though the Texas Avenue widening did make it more street-friendly).

UPDATE 04-25-2024: Quick maintenance-related updates.