SOOKIE: ‘Fran’s Old Place’! It’ll be like Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. People will be trying to figure out who Fran is.
Ruth’s Chris Steak House is a chain of over one hundred upscale steakhouses across the United States, Canada and Mexico. The original Chris Steakhouse was founded in New Orleans in 1927 by Chris Matulich. It was purchased in 1965 by divorced single mother Ruth Fertel, who needed money to send her sons to college.
The name was changed to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in 1976 after a fire forced Fertel to move the restaurant to a new property. It allowed her to to keep some continuity, as she was legally not able to use the name Chris Steakhouse for any other locations than the original restaurant. Fertel admitted she always hated the name.
Note the similarities between Ruth and Lorelai – both struggling single mothers who need money for their children’s education. Both will even suffer the setback of a fire!