Natalie's Eats Al's Steak: Al Ahmedus Consolidates His Restaurants

Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

The supremacy of women has once again been made evident -- this time by a man. Al Ahmedus has expanded his first restaurant, Natalie's, into the next-door space once occupied by Al's Steakhouse & Salad, also owned by Ahmedus, in the Preston Royal Shopping Center.

When the steakhouse opened in late 2009, the economy was in the grease trap and people were beginning to cut back on dining. "It was a hard time for us to open a restaurant. We tried to drum up business. There were some good reviews. But it wasn't enough," Ahmedus says.

He did what other proprietors would have done. Ahmedus consolidated his assets by shuttering the meat palace and increasing the square footage of the eatery he opened 21 years ago -- with a catch. The steaks from Allen Bros. in Chicago weren't going anywhere. Much of what was served at Al's has been incorporated into Natalie's dinner menu. Still, the remainder of Natalie's offerings have been left intact. Loyal customers can still lunch on the restaurant's classic fare of Southern staples and dishes that shoot for fine-dining status. But the tony clientele can also order a 12-ounce prime New York Strip with a side of creamed spinach.

Streamlining the operation made sense to Natalie's manager Kate Pirom. "Running two kitchens with two staffs was difficult," she says. "We were concerned with quality control. Besides, the original space was getting too small."

The change has been in effect for three weeks and already Ahmedus has witnessed an uptick in business. "More people are coming in. It's been great," he said. Just goes to show you, don't piss off your lady. It never goes well.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.