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Menu Classic: The Top Steak House

By
From the Spring 2013 edition

Design geeks adore The Top Steak House menu, adorned with classic supper club illustrations of steaks, lobsters and chops.

“Even though it’s not the approach I would go now, I love it because of its old-school feel,” said Barbara Eicke, a freelance designer who works with Columbus Food League. “That menu has a soul.”

We got the menu scoop from The Top’s co-owner Jean Adkins.

What can you tell us about the menu’s history?

I have a copy of the original, and it’s almost identical. The original owners, Lee Henry and Bill Sapp, commissioned local artist Roger Williams to design it. He was a local fellow, and he probably also designed the menus for their other two restaurants, Kahiki and the Wine Cellar.

How often does it get updated?

Two or three times a year, I’ll order another 1,500 menus. It’s really more about wear and tear. We’ve always used the same menu printing company, Cleveland Printing. Sometimes I’ll take off items or add them back on, but the only changes are really the placement of where we put our food.

Do customers love the menu?

Yes. We get a lot of people who want to take it home with them, and we’ll let them. I had a couple ladies celebrating a birthday recently who said, “We love the way this menu looks, we want to take it home and frame it.”

Which illustration is your favorite?

The owl that’s next to our Night Owl sandwich. It used to be served only after 9 o’clock. On the original menu, it was $2.65 for an open-face steak sandwich, French fries, a salad and a glass of wine. Now, you can get it anytime you want, but that owl is still hanging out there on the bottom.