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Opened in 1979, Le Chateau Great Steaks restaurant was one of the first buildings erected as part of Huntington’s ambitious downtown urban renewal project. It operated only briefly before it was replaced by a Steak & Ale restaurant.

Editor’s Note: This is the 378th in a series of articles recalling vanished Huntington scenes.

HUNTINGTON — Opened in 1979, Le Chateau Great Steaks restaurant was one of the first buildings erected as part of the city’s ambitious downtown urban renewal project. The Herald-Dispatch quoted a Huntington Urban Renewal Authority official as saying the restaurant chain paid more than $100,000 for the site on the southeast corner of 3rd Avenue and 6th Street.

The restaurant building, designed in country French style, seated 138 people in its three dining areas and 37 in its Block & Bottle Lounge. The menu featured cut-to-order steaks and pre-cut prime rib and lobster, along with a 21-item salad bar.

Le Chateau described itself as a “limited menu steakhouse designed to suit the tastes and budgets of middle and upper income people.”

Its Huntington location became the 34th restaurant in the regional restaurant chain, headquartered in Greensboro, N.C. Founded in 1970 by Ned Allen and Tom Mincher, the chain was later purchased by the Green Giant food company.

Le Chateau operated only briefly in Huntington before it was replaced by a Steak & Ale restaurant, which was a popular eatery in the downtown for nearly 20 years before it closed in 2000.

Today, the former restaurant site is home to the Star USA Federal Credit Union.

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