801 Chophouse establishes itself as a special-occasion restaurant, where every table might well hold a ring in a hidden box or a couple celebrating an anniversary. There are the white tablecloths popping against dark leather booths, the racks of wine tended by a certified sommelier, and, of course, the chops and steaks, all USDA Prime. On the other hand, it's quite conceivable that someone might gladly eat at 801 Chophouse every week and for any occasion—the menu, drink selection, and Wine Spectator-awarded wine list could accommodate months of exploration, and an ever-changing "fresh sheet" overflows with the jet-fresh seafood selections of the day.
On any given night, the wait staff moves across wooden floors beneath high ceilings and 1920s-inspired decor, trays loaded with nine creative potato preparations, filet mignon, and dry-aged pork chops. Meanwhile, the cattle of a pastoral mural gaze out over the dining room's cherry-wood finishes, waiting patiently to graze on uneaten garnishes.
The chefs of Shevy's Sports and Steaks simmer slow-roasted prime rib in the kitchen, and the restaurant's five dining areas steep patrons in sports nostalgia. In the Heisman Lounge, photos of all the Heisman Trophy winners smile upon servers as they Hail Mary menu items, such as chicken-fried steak, onto diners' tables. Classic baseball memorabilia crowds the walls of a rustic-style dining room, and outside on a 750-square-foot paved patio, guests sit beside a bustling downtown street as they decide what toppings to draft for their custom Black Angus burgers. Throughout the restaurant, high-definition televisions broadcast games available through NFL and MLB packages, as well as all Nebraska pay-per-view football games and checkers matches.
Kumeo Komazaki, known to friends as "Koma", relocated to New York City from Japan 30 years ago, bringing with him the culinary skills he learned as a chef for Japan's Imperial Palace Hotel. While working as a chef in New York, Komazaki happened to read the address on a box of beef shipped from Wichita, then seized the opportunity to establish his own restaurant there. At the Wichita location and its sister restaurants in St. Louis and Omaha, chefs entertain diners as they prepare steaks, seafood, and chicken at teppanyaki tables, flipping sizzling victuals through the air and searing meat to perfection. Sushi chefs roll and slice fresh seafood into bite-size pieces, which can be brought to mouths with chopsticks or hunger-induced telekinesis.