We started over 50 years ago in Vancouver, BC as a casual, affordable place for great steaks (on trays).
Okay, it was cafeteria style. You ordered, and when the cook called out your number, you picked up your steak on a tray. Talk about unpretentious. Today, we’re a little more refined (meaning no trays), but we’ve stayed true to our roots. We’re a steakhouse built on a casual, welcoming and non-judgmental culture. So leave your tucked-in shirt at the door, sit back, relax and enjoy a mighty fine meal. You can stay seated, too…these days our servers are happy to deliver your food and drinks straight to your table.
A Glimpse Through the Ages
The Original Steak Entrées
1960 - 1965
Opening in 1960 at 911 Granville in Vancouver, the very first MR MIKES was the ultimate definition of SteakhouseCasual. A cafeteria-style restaurant where you grabbed a tray, ordered at the grill, then served yourself when your steak was cooked.
It was the brainchild of two brothers; neither named Mike. Go figure. Bob and Nick Constabaris felt that good steak should be affordable for everyone. Well, surprise, surprise. It turned out to be an extremely popular concept. For those not ready for steak, the brothers offered up the now famous Mikeburger®.
From white collar cubicle workers with a taste for value to bell-bottomed, tie-dyed flower children with a powerful case of the munchies, MR MIKES was a hit. With everyone,
The Megalicious boom...
Salad Bar Days
1965 – 1980
The brothers decided to take their highly successful cafeteria steakhouse format and franchise it. They first expanded to Vancouver Island, then Kamloops, and the rest is, well, history.
Somewhere in the late 60's they came up with the idea for their famous salad bar. Guests could graze to their hearts content while waiting for their main course. Wildly popular, the term Megalicious began to be associated in MR MIKES advertising, highlighting the 'bottomless' nature of this unique feature.
The chain continues to grow, serving over 250,000 hungry customers a month. The 50th location opened in 1970. Lettuce farmers and cattle ranchers in Canada do a happy dance.
Grilling 'n Chilling....
Relax and Refocus 1980 - 1995
In 1980, as Canada faces its worst fall economy in 30 years, MR MIKES opens its 69th location. The downtown ticks up and the majority of restaurants come through with sales increases. When times are tough, people eat steak. Parliament rejects the introduction of a bill to declare steak a comfort food.
Speaking of government, provincial taxes began making it tougher for franchisees to make money with a no-frills concept. Time for a rethink.
It's a West Coast Thing...
Rise of the Antler Boys 1995 – 2010
Bill & Kelly Ranford partnered with Darren and Lindsey Flintoff to acquire the chain and turn the concept into a full-service West Coast-themed steakhouse. Goodbye, Megalicious salad bar....sniff. But, hey, a restaurant's gotta make money...
With a new open kitchen grill and West Coast themed interior design, the first newstyle MR MIKES reopened throughout BC, starting in Terrace, Dawson Creek, Quesnel and so on. They were a big hit in every market. Affordable steaks! Woo hoo!
Restaurant theming and advertising celebrate West Coast spirit ...and wackiness. An impromptu shot of three guys wading into water in their skivvies wearing antlers made from twigs became an iconic image. Just why, nobody knows.
MR MIKES officially becomes a Steakhouse & Bar. Grande Prairie, Alberta, becomes the first Alberta community to experience MR MIKES 's brand of steak insanity, followed by Red Deer, Edmonton and Calgary.
Oh, and the guys with the Antlers? Our accountants after a few too many Antler Ales.
Introducing SteakhouseCasual 2010
At the end of 2010, RAMMP Hospitality Brands adds the MR MIKES franchise to its two other restaurant chains, The Pantry and Rockwell's Grill & Bar. MR MIKES rebrands to accurately define its true steak soul ...and in the process, creating a new dining category - SteakhouseCasual.
No fancy frills. No stuffed shirt attitude. Just real people and great food. Everything customers want in a steakhouse. Only casual.
The first flagship SteakhouseCasual location re-opens in Prince George, followed by Quesnel and Mission. New markets like Yorkton, Saskatchewan and Bonnyville, Alberta also welcome the new SteakhouseCasual concept with open arms.