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Democrat and Chronicle

Beloved Rochester restaurant reopens with new look after almost 20 years

By Tracy Schuhmacher, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle,

2023-12-11

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For more than two decades, G&G SteakOut restaurants were a beloved gathering place for Rochester's Black community. From 1981 to 2004, Marion "Al" and Francina Gause ― known as Mr. and Mrs. G to people in the neighborhood ― served up good food and warm hospitality at locations on Hudson Avenue, Genesee Street and North Clinton Avenue.

Their eight children grew up working in the business and have fond memories of that time. Like the fact that one of the first tasks assigned to a new employee was cutting up a 50-pound bag of onions. "We used to challenge everyone, don't cry," said Al Gause Jr., with a laugh.

They would find themselves spending time in the kitchen, baking bread, cinnamon rolls and pizza, even when they would have rather been playing outside. "What you hated then you love today," Richard Gause said wistfully, as both of his parents have passed.

When Francina Gause was diagnosed with heart disease, Al Gause Sr. left the restaurant to his children, but they had chosen other career paths and the restaurant closed.

Almost two decades later, members of the Gause family have teamed up to revive the family business, but with a new look and direction. G&G Steakout II has opened at 810 Genesee St., two doors down from where one of their parents' restaurants once stood.

The new restaurant has been five years in the making. First, the family started serving their food at events like Roc Summer Soul Fest at Frontier Field and holding pop-ups in the courtyard of the Charleston House on East Avenue. The response encouraged them to forge ahead. "We had so many prior customers," Richard Gause said. "They remembered. The folks missed our restaurant. They missed our food. They missed the culture of G&G Steakout.”

Now, people tell them, "your dad is cheering you on. They are happy for you. They would be jumping for joy.” The sons of Mr. and Mrs. G. get emotional talking about it; it's like cutting onions all those years ago.

The menu at G&G Steakout

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The menu is focused on hearty overstuffed steak sandwiches that can be prepared with many additions, all chopped together on the flat top, topped with cheese and a long, soft roll and cooked until hot and gooey. The whole amalgamation is scooped into the bun, generously drizzled with a sweet and tangy homemade sauce and topped with lettuce and tomato, if desired.

The Deluxe Supreme Siberian, as an example, combines steak, sausage, onions, peppers, mushrooms, lettuce, tomato and two kinds of cheese. And for those that like spice, a homemade hot sauce is available as well.

Some of the dishes still have the names that Al Gause Sr. gave them years ago. The Deluxe Mandela Burger, made with cheese, onions, peppers, mushrooms, lettuce and tomatoes, was named after Nelson Mandela on a historic day.

Menu offerings also include wings, sausage sandwiches, hoagies and a haddock fish fry.

What's next

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G&G Steakout is planning to open its second location at 350 E. Main St., near the Eastman Theatre, after the first of the year. That will have a full-service setup, with beers and mimosas added to the lineup.

After that, the plan is for growth. The family plans to open three to four locations in Rochester and Atlanta over the next five years and to start franchising after that, Richard Gause said.

If you go

G&G Steakout II is at 810 Genesee St. It is primarily set up for takeout, but a counter and stools are planned for eating in.

It is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. It is closed Sundays. Find the menu online at ggsteakout.com . To order call (585) 319-5208; curbside service and delivery is available. It also offers delivery through the major apps.

Tracy Schuhmacher covers food and drink for the D&C. Keep up to date with her food finds by subscribing to her weekly ROCFlavors newsletter .

This article originally appeared on Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: Beloved Rochester restaurant reopens with new look after almost 20 years

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