2014 | Dine

With Talking Animals Gone, Bugaboo Creek Reopens as BC Steak

The Gaithersburg location of the steakhouse chain is the first in the country to reopen with the new concept.

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The bar at the new BC Steak and Silver Birch Bar, the former location of Bugaboo Creek.

Andrew Metcalf














If you’ve ever been to a Bugaboo Creek Steakhouse, then you’ll know about the talking animals — the animatronic moose and bison heads that come to life and start talking, regardless if you want them to.

Now the company that owns the 10 steakhouses located throughout New England and the Mid-Atlantic are ditching the animals and unveiling a new concept – a sleek look and updated menu under the name BC Steak and the Silver Birch Bar.

The company opened its first BC Steak in Gaithersburg on March 31.

“Talking animals have seen its day,” said Bill Burnett, the president and chief operating officer of Capitol BC and the man in charge with implementing the new concept across the 10 restaurants.

Burnett sat on a black leather couch in the restaurant’s newly renovated Silver Birch Bar. Hanging from the ceiling were two black antler chandeliers, the only remnants of Bugaboo Creek’s past décor.

Burnett said that children today, armed with iPads and smart phones, don’t blink an eye at an animatronic moose. So to try to compete with other casual dining chains like Outback and Longhorn Steakhouse, they’ve developed this new concept.

“We needed to change the name, change the décor and get a fresh start,” said Burnett, a former vice president for companies that run Houston’s and The Capital Grille.

That fresh start keeps the lodge feel, but pulls out the clutter, giving the restaurant a more refined look accented with red velvet couches, lounge chairs and landscape paintings. Burnett said they spent about $500,000 renovating the 7,300 square foot space. The restaurant’s new menu was created by Mike Hufler, a chef consultant Burnett worked with at Houston’s. Prices are more expensive, but Burnett said the quality of the food has been raised.

“We like to think we can compete with Houston’s, in that spot between casual and fine dining,” said Burnett.

Entrees at BC-Steak range from about $15 for roasted half chicken up to $29 for a 7 ounce filet topped with crab meat and béarnaise sauce.

The company brought in Ron Robbins, from the Clyde’s Restaurant Group, to update the drink menu, which now includes an expanded wine selection and offers martinis and manhattans for $5 during its Happy Hour. A new shuffleboard table now sits in the center of the bar area.

Burnett, who has been working at the restaurant since it opened, said he has already heard from several nostalgic former Bugaboo Creek customers, but that he believes the new concept will win them over.

“We truly had more people complaining about the animals than enjoying them,” said Burnett. “The concept has been around for 25 years. It was time to make some changes.”

Restaurant Information

  • BC Steak and the Silver Birch Bar
  • 15710 Shady Grove Road, Gaithersburg
  • www.bcsteak.com
  • 301-548-9200