As the name suggests, Vinyl Steakhouse is a steakhouse devoted to vinyl records. All photos courtesy of Vinyl

The RundownNew York

All About Vinyl Steakhouse in Chelsea


In this edition of the Rundown, we’ve got all the details on relative newcomer Vinyl Steakhouse, which involves a meet-cute and anything-but-your-average, run-of-the-mill steakhouse and listening lounge. Read on for everything you need to know about this thoroughly modern steak restaurant which first opened in May of last year.

The staff at Vinyl.

1. It all started with a meet-cute at, well, a steakhouse.

On a cold and rainy day in 2018, sommeliers Kevin and Sofia Flannery met at the (now closed) Greenwich Steakhouse. Both were at the bar, sitting separately, when eventually they started talking and bonded over a shared love of restaurants and specifically, steakhouses. (Who doesn’t love a steakhouse?!). Sofia grew up working at her family’s restaurants, while Kevin worked across the country at places like Morton’s Steakhouses and Ocean Prime. During that first meeting, they discussed what would eventually become Vinyl Steakhouse.

Their vision of a steakhouse, they decided, would be anything but traditional or stuffy. “We took away the white table cloths, threw away the bowties and collared shirts and started playing about 2,500 vinyl records,” says Kevin Flannery.

2. Let’s start with the menu of “chef-driven left turns.”

Flannery calls their menu “a chef-driven left turn” on traditional steakhouse favorites. Chef Kevin Hoffmann, formerly of Jeffrey’s Grocery and L&W Oyster Co., joined Vinyl late in 2022. (Fun fact: He was also the personal chef on Britney Spears’ “Circus” tour in 2009).

These left turns include quinoa onion rings, an oat brownie sundae, and even a vegan hen-of-the woods mushroom entrée with crispy mushroom bacon and summer truffled vegetable fricassée. You’ll also find appetizers like baked crispy rice with spicy ahi tuna and ricotta toast on cranberry bread. Other standouts include creamed spinach carbonara and the bone-marrow-grilled corn served in its own husk.

Crispy sushi rice with ahi tuna
Crispy sushi rice with ahi tuna. Photo courtesy of Vinyl Steakhouse
Scallops with cauliflower purée
Scallops with cauliflower purée. Photo by Michael Tulipan, courtesy of Vinyl Steakhouse

3. They take their steaks seriously, though.

“We are here to compete with the goliaths and provide the quality of beef and service the likes of the big dogs like Lugers, Wolfgangs, Gallaghers, and Keens,” Flannery says. “We take this steakhouse business very seriously.”

Cuts on the menu range from dry-aged porterhouses made to share to a Cajun dry-rubbed ribeye.

Prices, however, are fairly priced. “Anyone can come to Vinyl and take their partner out to dinner for a special night and get treated like gold, no matter how much they spend,” he emphasizes. For $55, he notes, you can get one of the best 8.5-ounce filets in the city. Despite inflation, the team says they continue to hold the line to keep the restaurant affordable.

A Porterhouse for two.
A Porterhouse for two.

4. Music is a key part of the experience.

All music is — no surprise here — played on vinyl. Records line the walls, even in the hot pink bathroom. You can request an album, but remember, this isn’t karaoke night; Vinyl Steakhouse plays the entire A or B side of the record. Talk about commitment.

While they take requests, the “center lane” of the restaurant playlist is 1960s and 1970s rock , meaning every third album must be a ‘60s or ‘70s rock album. So while you might not be able to get through an entire song when you listen to it on Spotify, do know that Vinyl is committed to choosing a record and sticking with it.

When talking music, Flannery says, “I loved so much about the [traditional] steakhouse, but I hated the atmosphere and the pretentiousness.” Rock music, he says, “matches the powerful concept of big steaks and wines better than the soft edge I saw most classic steakhouses focused on.”

Have something in mind you want to listen to during dinner? Maybe a Taylor Swift album, or even Beyoncé? Bring your vinyl and they’ll gladly play it. For groups of eight or more, Vinyl also offers “Sip & Spin,” which includes three wine tastings paired and spaced out throughout your meal.

4. Everyone is welcome here.

Back in 2018, this same address was teeming with publicists and sales folks as the popular watering hole and tapas bar Sala One Nine. Today, as Vinyl Steakhouse, it feels more like a sleek record store that opens into a secluded and intimate restaurant.

The difference between Vinyl and a more traditional steakhouse, Flannery says, is in the environment. Vinyl projects something that’s more of the moment, and most of all, inviting and inclusive; in other words, this steakhouse isn’t like an exclusive boy’s club. Flannery says he and Sofia wanted to create a space that is completely unpretentious and approachable.

5. The drinks are worth paying attention to.

Vinyl’s in-house mixologist Jason Trevino has developed their own menu of eclectic offerings like the Taste of Venus with Tequila and mezcal in addition to steakhouse staples, all of which are no more than $19 per cocktail.

With four sommeliers in house, there is always someone at the ready to make recommendations. And with many bottles of wine under $100, treating yourself doesn’t have to break the bank. Sofia Flannery says of the wines, “Our list is predominantly focused on France, Italy, and the Americas. We designed it this way from the start because we felt those three regions had the best wines with steak on the menu.”

A sommelier herself, she says, “we strive to find hidden gems from the Bordeaux, Barolo, Brunello, Burgundy, Rhône Valley, Oregon, Sonoma, and Napa Valley regions. There will be many wines you know, but also dozens of labels you can only find at Vinyl Steakhouse.”

The most popular wine? Sofia says it’s the 2018 Le Filere Barolo, which is priced under $100 and pairs perfectly with the dry-aged steaks.

6. Always save room for dessert.

Your end-of-the-meal selections at Vinyl include the oat brownie with housemade smoked sprinkles, and a burnt Basque cheesecake with homemade dulce de leche and Luxardo cherries on top. Seasonal specialties include an olive oil cake served with fresh whipped cream and poached pink pineapple.

As for what’s next, the Vinyl legacy continues; the Flannerys are welcoming a child this fall, and they hope to expand Vinyl in cities across the country to bring anti-stuffy steakhouses to more Americans who want comfort, good music, and a great steak.


Vinyl Steakhouse is open every day starting at 4 p.m.

Andrea Capodilupo is a comedy, food, and fiction writer. She loves to travel, eat doughnuts, and try vegan recipes. Her writing has been published in Eater, McSweeney’s, Business Insider, The Boston Globe, and New York Magazine. Follow her on Instagram. Follow Resy, too.