The Ruby Community
Photography by Wes Battoclette
In Cincinnati, Jeff Ruby’s name is synonymous with high-end steakhouses, but there is more to Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment than excellent food.
Dining at any of Jeff Ruby’s four restaurants is an experience – an experience of excellence. From the quality of the food to the energy, elegant ambiance and outstanding service, Ruby truly knows how to care for his guests. However, it takes a family of passionate employees to bring the Jeff Ruby Experience to life night after night. This starts with the general managers: Charlie Bledsoe of Carlo & Johnny, Neal Collinsworth of Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse and Brandon Ruby of
“Jeff Ruby’s isn’t just dinner, it’s an experience,” says Collinsworth. “It’s the ‘Cheers’ of fine dining. When you walk in the door it’s, ‘Hey, how are you doing?’ handshakes, hugs and kisses all night long,” adds Bledsoe.
“It’s an emotional connection. We are all a family and Jeff is our dad as far as I’m concerned,” Collinsworth says. “Charlie, Brandon, Britney (Ruby Miller) are my brothers and sister. It goes all the way down the line to our dishwashers who are our cousins and nephews. The guests are treated the same. It is one big happy family under one unique umbrella. Everyone is treated the same, you’re one of the group and you’re a part of the family when you’re dining with us.”
The unique relationship shared among the restaurant staff and its guests has created a community unlike any other. “Our guests come to us for all of their most important moments in their lives,” says Brandon. “They aren’t just coming and eating in our restaurant; they are coming in to share their occasion with us. The satisfaction that we get – you really can’t put a price on it. When someone comes in on the most important day of their month, year or life and they tell us how perfect their evening was for them – you couldn’t pay us enough money to do another job and not have that satisfaction.”
The Jeff Ruby Experience isn’t limited to the restaurants. The experience takes place throughout the community daily. “Lauren Hill (the Mount St. Joseph basketball player whose struggle with cancer captivated the country) came and dined with us,” Bledsoe says. “One of the best experiences I’ve ever had was the server coming to me crying saying, ‘I really appreciate you letting me wait on her.’
“I called and texted her parents about a week before she passed away asking how Lauren was doing. She wasn’t doing very well, so I asked if I could send her a lobster tail, because that’s what she loved. I wasn’t able to make it so I sent a member of my staff to the hospital. She texted me, ‘I love you, thank you! This has been one of the best meals I’ve had in the past couple of weeks.’ That memory will last forever.”
“One of our regulars from Columbus, IN came to dine with us before a show at the Aronoff and while she was driving her oil light came on,” says Collinsworth. “She was panicked about it so I had a member of the staff take her car to the shop to have the oil changed. When she was ready to pick her car up from the valet, after the show the oil had been changed and she was ready to head safely home.”
There are countless stories just like this.
In addition to impacting the lives of individuals, Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment participates in a number of philanthropic endeavors. The Anthony Muñoz Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, American Cancer Society, Freestore Foodbank and countless others have benefited from the generosity of the company.
“We are involved in our community,” says Jason Kersey, director of sales and marketing. “You can choose to go to a lot of different restaurants in this community. They may have locations only here or they may have locations in other cities, but I can say personally from working with other organizations that there just isn’t that involvement – that culture of caring that this company embodies. It’s central to who we are.
“That’s the finishing piece; you could affect everybody on any given night – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday – give them a great meal and experience, but it’s giving back that’s what we’re about. Everyone in this organization cares.”
Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse – Cincinnati is located at 700 Walnut Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202. You can reach them at 513.784.1200.
Carlo & Johnny is located at 9769 Montgomery Road, Cincinnati, OH 45242. You can reach them at 513.936.8600.
Precinct is located at 311 Delta Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45226. You can reach them at 513.321.5454.
For more information about Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment visit www.jeffruby.com.