Jeff Ruby adds NKU Norse steak, offers free dinners to grads


While appearing as a guest with Bill Cunningham on 700 WLW Monday, celebrity restaurateur Jeff Ruby announced that he would be giving free steak dinners to graduates of seven local universities.

Students graduating from NKU, University of Cincinnati, Xavier University, University of Dayton, University of Kentucky, University of Louisville, and Vanderbilt University in the next four years will receive free steak dinners.

Ruby also said that the offer will be extended for graduates of The Ohio State University beginning next year, after construction on his Columbus steakhouse is completed.

When it was announced that the NKU Norse men’s basketball team would be playing Kentucky in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Ruby had an offer for NKU students: if NKU wins, every undergraduate student gets a free steak dinner from one of his steakhouses.

With Ruby only including seven local schools in his offer, students of some surrounding colleges are wondering why they were left out. Ruby has repeatedly told those students to “stay tuned,” on twitter.

Details on how graduates can get their steak dinner have yet to be released.

Junior Zane Wagner, thinks the offer makes sense for both Ruby and NKU.

“I thought it was a great move from a business standpoint,” Wagner said.  “Win or lose, Jeff Ruby got his name out there and increased the attention surrounding his restaurants. Also, it showcased his support for NKU, which sits well with those affiliated with the university and beyond.”

The Norse fell to the Wildcats by nine points, but Ruby still wanted to reward the students on the accomplishment. Tweeting to his more than 45,000 followers, Ruby said that the NKU Norse will be a new steak on the menu at The Precinct.

Ruby opened The Precinct in 1981 and it has become Cincinnati’s longest continually-running fine dining restaurant, according to Ruby’s website. The NKU Norse steak will be a 14-ounce New York Strip, blackened, and served with horseradish cream sauce.

Steven Horacek, a senior Communication Studies major, is graduating in May and plans on taking advantage of Ruby’s offer.

“Absolutely,” Horacek said. “There’s nothing better than free food, especially from a five star restaurant.”

With Ruby’s original offer and the NCAA tournament getting so much coverage by local and national news outlets, Horacek is glad NKU is being recognized.

“It’s great that NKU is finally being recognized as an important school,” Horacek said. “Had we not participated in the NCAA tournament, we never would’ve gotten this coverage. We’re now seen with the likes of UC, UK and Louisville all because our basketball team is good.”

For Wagner, he’s excited to go to The Precinct after he graduates next year, and is thankful Ruby is rewarding the local students that work so hard.

“I saw it as a very nice gesture, and I appreciate the support that Mr. Ruby is giving the members of our community that are striving to better themselves,” Wagner said. “I absolutely plan on taking advantage of the offer. I am a huge fan of steakhouses and not many do it better than The Precinct.”

The Northerner reached out to Ruby, but he and his team has decided not to comment further until the full details are set in stone.