Destin, Panama City to Get Ruth's Chris Steak Houses

Ruth's Chris Steak House Inc. said it has signed two new franchise-owned restaurant locations, one in Destin and one in Panama City.

The fine-dining steak house chain, which moved its headquarters from Louisiana to Central Florida after Hurricane Katrina, signed the dual-location agreement with Florida-based franchisees James Lee, Bill Parker, and Thomas Becnel.

The Destin location will be in the Silver Shells Resort at 15000 Emerald Coast Parkway and will open later this year. The search for a Panama City location, to open in 2007, is ongoing, the franchisees said.

"Florida is one of the fastest growing states in our group, with two franchised and eight company-owned for a total of 10 restaurants," said Dan Hannah, Ruth's Chris vice president of new business development. "I am looking forward to working with Bill Parker and his team to make these two new additions a success."