MERRILL & HOUSTON’S
One look around Merrill & Houston’s Steak Joint, 500 Pleasant St., and Beloit’s rich history comes alive. “It’s a tribute to our city’s past and the industry leaders who created Beloit,” says Jayme Braatz, the restaurant’s general manager. “We want people to feel like they can really connect with Beloit.”
Merrill & Houston’s opened in July 2012 in the Ironworks Hotel, after more than a year of extensive construction to both the hotel and restaurant by its parent company, Hendricks Commercial Properties. The restaurant is named after Orson Merrill and George Houston, who founded Merrill and Houston Iron Works in 1858. It was later named Beloit Ironworks in the 1880s and eventually renamed the Beloit Corporation.
“It catches your eye,” says Braatz. “Driving through downtown Beloit and you see this gorgeous renovated building with everything from painted brick work on the exterior, to the walls inside adorned with old photos from Beloit. Whether you’re from Beloit or simply passing through, there’s a remarkable building, with uncompromising services and amenities.”
With its rustic feel, leather seats, hard wood floors and many historic photographs lining the walls, Merrill & Houston’s tells a great story through its food and tribute to the past. Much of the material used in the construction is old and reflects a piece of history. The bar, for example, was constructed from wood gathered from the torn down house that stood on the property of the Iron Works.
As the name implies, the restaurant features mouth-watering steaks along with a full service menu that includes fish, chicken and seafood selections. Specialties include seafood Alfredo, duck a l’orange, and broiled pike almondine, complimented by a toasted almond lemon butter. “Our menu is not over the top,” says Braatz. “We offer something for every customer.”
The variety of steaks is plentiful. There’s the New York Strip, rib-eye and the porterhouse steak. If you prefer a smaller portion, there’s the petit filet, Manhattan steak, and rib-eye mignon, all of which are half the size of the larger selections. All steaks are seasoned and topped with buttered mushrooms and crispy thin onion rings. “We buy only the best meat,” Braatz says. During the week, much of Merrill & Houston’s business is tied to guests visiting area companies such as Kerry Ingredients, Regal Beloit, and ChemTool. On weekends, the restaurant is a popular spot for people from all across northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.Back To The Beloit Experience