We all remember unique things about our fathers. They leave behind varied legacies and lasting impacts on their offspring. For some, it persists in the way we toss footballs or grease mitts. For others, it’s the style with which we present double porterhouse steaks, manage kitchen lines and coddle customers.
Arnie Morton is famous for having launched the Playboy Club, along with Hugh Hefner, in 1960; hipped up the Chicago food scene via the art-deco look of Arnie’s in the early ‘70s and created the chain of Morton’s Steakhouses, which grew from a single spot on the Gold Coast to 10 or so locations and eventually got sold for $12 million in 1989. More importantly, perhaps, he also inspired five of his seven kids to be entrepreneurs in the food and hospitality game. Between them they have opened more than a dozen restaurants, nightclubs and hotels.
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The latest example, MB Steak (the initials stand for My Brothers), debuted in Las Vegas’s Hard Rock Hotel & Casino last month. The two sons behind it, Michael and David Morton, view their beef-centric spot as a tribute to their showman dad. They remember that he dressed with élan, favored billowing pocket squares, kept potent one-liners on tap and innovated the rolling cart from which Morton’s diners were presented with cuts of steak and live lobsters soon to be cooked and plated. Arnie, who passed away in 2005, at 83, would appreciate MB’s attention to detail: the cozy downstairs dining room is paneled in gorgeously charred wood; upstairs there’s a living wall covered in foliage, a skylight looks over the island bar and motorized windows open to the Sin City night. And at least one dish on the menu would leave Arnie totally jazzed.