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‘Bonanza Steakhouse’ Opening at New Hartford Ponderosa

Ponderosa
The closed Ponderosa Restaurant on Seneca Turnpike in New Hartford, which will re-open as a Bonanza Steakhouse in the spring of 2014. (Photo by Alison Keeler)

The Ponderosa Restaurant location in New Hartford is about to be re-branded as a Bonanza Steakhouse, according to the restaurant’s parent company.

The Seneca Turnpike location has been closed since January 5th and a sign outside simply invites Ponderosa fans to visit their Herkimer location.  Calls to the New Hartford restaurant have gone unanswered at this time; however, employees in Herkimer say the location could be open as early as April.

Bonanza
(Getty Images)

The Bonanza Steakhouse chain was first opened in Connecticut in 1963, inspired by actor Dan Blocker, who played ‘Hoss Cartright’ on the television series Bonanza, thus, the name.  Blocker would appear in commercials and make appearances as ‘Hoss’ at restaurant locations until his untimely death in 1972.

Bonanza Steakhouse used to have locations in the Utica area during the 1970′s, one of which was on North Genesee Street in the city.  Bonanza Steakhouses scaled back their footprint in the 1970′s and ultimately closed in the Utica market. The chain still operates more than 20 restaurants in several states, including Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maine on the East Coast.

Ponderosa and Bonanza steakhouses had no affiliation until 1997, when the two "he Ponderosa Restaurant location in New Hartford is about to be re-branded as a Bonanza Steakhouse"companies merged under the corporate umbrella of Metromedia Family Steakhouses.  The company reorganized in 2012 as Homestyle Dining LLC., located in Plano Texas.

The marketing department at Homestyle Dining was unable to confirm the opening date of the new restaurant.  ”The date is fluid, as of right now,” said Brenda Wilk, Marketing Coordinator; however, she did confirm that Bonanza will be opening in the New Hartford location sometime in the near future.

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