Rochester, New York – For over two decades, G&G SteakOut was more than just a restaurant for Rochester’s Black community; it was a beloved gathering hub. Marion “Al” and Francina Gause, fondly referred to as Mr. and Mrs. G, were the heart and soul of this local favorite from 1981 to 2004. Their restaurants, located on Hudson Avenue, Genesee Street, and North Clinton Avenue, were not just places to eat but were integral parts of the community’s social fabric.
The Gause’s eight children, who grew up working in the business, recall this period with a mix of nostalgia and humor. One of their earliest memories is the rite of passage for new employees: chopping a 50-pound bag of onions without shedding a tear. “We used to challenge everyone, don’t cry,” reminisces Al Gause Jr., reflecting on the playful spirit that permeated their work.
Despite sometimes yearning to play outside, the Gause siblings spent considerable time in the kitchen. They were involved in baking bread, cinnamon rolls, and pizza. This hands-on experience, though begrudgingly accepted at times, is now looked back upon fondly. Richard Gause, reflecting on those days, said, “What you hated then you love today,” especially poignant as both of his parents have since passed away.
The original G&G SteakOut journey came to a halt when Francina Gause was diagnosed with heart disease, leading Al Gause Sr. to leave the restaurant in the hands of his children. However, they had chosen different career paths, resulting in the restaurant’s closure.
Fast forward almost two decades, and the Gause family has decided to reignite the spirit of their family business. G&G SteakOut II has recently opened its doors at 810 Genesee St., just a stone’s throw from where one of the original restaurants stood. This endeavor has been five years in the making, starting with serving food at local events like Roc Summer Soul Fest and holding pop-up kitchens. The overwhelming positive response from former customers who fondly remembered the restaurant’s culture and cuisine, was a significant motivator for the family.
Richard Gause expresses the community’s sentiment: “They remembered. The folks missed our restaurant. They missed our food. They missed the culture of G&G Steakout.” The new G&G SteakOut II promises to continue the legacy of good food and warm hospitality, a tribute to Mr. and Mrs. G, and a revival of a cultural landmark in Rochester’s Black community.