First look: Jeff Ruby opens his Lexington steakhouse with a party -- for himself!

The chandeliers are strung. The blue piano is in place. And the steaks are coming in hot.

After years of waiting and months of construction, Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse is set to open Monday for dinner. The restaurant, which will anchor the new City Center development downtown, will feature some of the priciest food in town.

But Ruby, who was extensively involved in designing the over-the-top decor, said his goal is to give Lexingtonians a “magical” dining experience that makes it feel like they’ve gone to Vegas or on vacation. But he also wanted to keep the charm inherent in Lexington.

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So he’s planned a dining room dedicated to Wildcat sports, one honoring the state’s bourbon icons, and another intimate space to celebrate Bluegrass horse breeding and racing.

Ruby celebrated his 71st birthday on Friday night with a private ribbon-cutting that debuted the restaurant and offered a taste of what is to come.

Attendees included University of Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops and Gov. Matt Bevin.

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