MAHOPAC, N.Y. -- In crafting his steakhouse, Rick Megna said he was inspired by steakhouses like Morton's and Peter Luger's.
Now with his restaurant Char Steakhouse at 151 Bryant Pond Road in Mahopac, Megna is offering Putnam residents the same steakhouse experience that is not a world away.
Char Steakhouse opened 15 months ago. The steakhouse offers specials on Tuesday and Thursday and is about to introduce an early dining option.
"This is a good addition to the community," Megna said.
One of Char's signature steak specials is a Kansas City shell steak aged for 21 days.
Char allows diners to build their own steaks. They pick a prime cut, a sauce, a starch and a vegetable.
"We don't do a la carte," manager John Plummer said.
Char Steakhouse also offers prime seafood from Megna's sister restaurant, Rick's Seafood Restaurant in Mahopac, which has been a fixture for 12 years.
Plummer became manager of Char after visiting the restaurant on his birthday.
"I had known Rick for a number of years through the seafood market," Plummer said. "I told him I wanted to work with him if the time was right."
Running a successful steakhouse is all about taking care of the customers, Plummer said.
"You have to make sure they know they are important to you and that your employees know how important they are," Plummer said.
In his restaurant experience, Plummer said if a restaurant is filled with unhappy employees, the quality will suffer.
"We have servers who really enjoy what they do," Plummer said. "They are professional. They are not in it just because they need a job and the customer recognizes that."
Working at a steakhouse can whet your appetite, Plummer said, especially when the steaks come out of the kitchen sizzling.
"It makes you really want a steak," Plummer said. "The restaurant is filled with these aromas and herbs."
Megna said it was very important his restaurant serve the highest quality meat.
"Our meat is raised organic," Megna said. "It's blank angus beef from the Hunts Point market. I have a high passion for food. I love steaks as much as I do seafood."