Kiernan's Steak House, a landmark on the west side of Dearborn, will close in the near future.
The fixture along Michigan Avenue since the 1960s was, like a lot of local, independent steakhouses, a throwback. Like Mr. Paul's Chop House in Roseville or Knight's Steak House in Ann Arbor, these restaurants cater to what MT food critic Jane Slaughter once called "Reagan-era notions of good eating: surf and turf, lots of blue cheese and bacon in the house salad." Our reviewers described it thusly: "Picture an atmospheric room with fringed red lamps and leather booths, almost dark enough for you to feel around for the silverware," noting that menu choices include "steak, lobster tail and lamb chops," as well as "one of the restaurant's most popular dishes, the European beef tenderloin with blue cheese and walnuts."
In an era when diners want vegan options and lighter meals, and the ones who will feast on meat want barbecue and comfort food, maybe the old-line steakhouse faces a turning point: just now becoming out-of-date enough to either make way for new dining trends and new crowds — or to hang on for another generation and come full circle to be appreciated for its retro charm. It's a shame Kiernan's faces the former fate, but there's still time to drop in for one last blue cheese-and-walnut-laden dish, at 21931 Michigan Ave., Dearborn; 313-565-4260; kiernanssteakhouse.com.