Jeff Ruby celebrates 71st birthday at his new downtown Lexington restaurant

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Jeff Ruby celebrated his 71st birthday in style Friday night, with an invite-only bash at his new restaurant at City Center in Lexington.

"It's just so special for him. I don't know, maybe it's God's birthday present for him," said Britney Ruby Miller, Jeff Ruby's daughter and president of Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment.

For eight years, Ruby has held on, determined to bring his 10,000 square foot steakhouse downtown.

"You all showing up tonight and receiving this place the way you have means a lot to me because I know what we still have to do here to finish it," Ruby told the crowd Friday night.

It took more than a decade to bring plans for City Center to fruition.

"The place is packed and this is what City Center has been about. Building something that's going to be long lasting and be a real generator of economic development for downtown," said City Center project coordinator Ralph Coldiron.

"It just took time - that's all. Worth waiting for," added developer Dudley Webb.

The new restaurant exudes luxury, featuring a horseshoe-shaped bar and a stage for live music and recorded concerts.

Inside, you'll also find signature rooms, including one for horse lovers complete with racing silks, and a Gatsby room with giant chandeliers.

"We are about treating people like royalty. Over the top, blowing people away on every single level of the dining experience," Miller said. "You are making an investment when you come to our steakhouse, so we want to make sure there's a great ROI and people walk out of here thinking 'That was the best money that I've ever spent.'"

Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse in Lexington officially opens Monday to the public.