Enjoy Fine Dining in Downtown Auburn

It’s a tall order to become one of the finest dining establishments in the state of Indiana, but Bob and Aliya Lebamoff are up to the task. The iconic building that houses their restaurant, Auburn City Steakhouse, 203 Main St., Auburn, bursts with charm and history.

“We call it casual elegance,” Bob says. “You are sitting in a building with rich history while enjoying a wonderful dinner to celebrate your occasion.”

Originally a hardware store, the building dates to 1859 and remained in continuous operation for decades. Philanthropists Rick and Vicki James purchased the store in 2017 with dreams of converting it into full service, high-scale restaurant.

“This was the beginning of their 10-year plan to redevelop downtown Auburn, a town they both love,” Bob explains.

The James family sought top talent to run the steakhouse, which is where Bob comes in. A third-generation restaurateur, he shares the James family’s vision of redeveloping Auburn while paying homage to the city’s roots. His son, Alex, is now the fourth generation to join the business.

“As a tribute to the past, we wanted to keep as much of the building’s charm and history as we could while making it a functional restaurant,” Bob says. “The original hardwood floor, leaded-etched glass entrance, tin ceiling, brick walls and so much more were restored to its beauty. The original freight elevator, 1908 NCR cash register and many other pieces remain on display today. I tell people we opened a historical museum – we just have a kitchen in here now.”

Some highlights on the menu include the prime rib and the Greek salad.

“My grandfather, Stephan Gouloff, owned the Paramount Grill in Fort Wayne, and my dad, Tom Lebamoff, owned several restaurants in Fort Wayne over his 40-year career, with his last one called The Elegant Farmer,” Bob explains. “We offer the same original Greek salad my grandfather brought from the old county, and my father was known for his slow-roasted Prime Rib, which we feature.”

In addition to the main dining room, Auburn City Steakhouse has unique spaces for housing private events. The Executive Room is a 28-seat private dining room with beautiful art lining the walls – an “elegance unmatched in Northeast Indiana,” Bob says. The room offers a reception area, private restroom and sound-proof walls for guests to conduct private business.

The Grand Room offers a 110-seat reception area, with private restrooms and a service bar, that’s perfect for hosting weddings, nonprofit fundraisers, corporate events, live music events and more.

“We also have a smaller room for 10 guests where we host private wine dinners and tastings,” Bob says. “It is surrounded by our wine lockers that our guests rent from us.”

There’s also the Davis & James Lounge, named after the original hardware store owner Joseph Davis and his family, and, of course, Rick and Vicki James, who restored the building to its present-day grandeur. The lounge offers a full-service bar that stocks hard-to-find bourbons and never-out-of-style classic cocktails.

“We offer our full dining menu there as well,” Bob says.

The restaurant primarily attracts guests from a 45-mile radius, he adds. Regular customers come from as far as Ohio and Michigan, which only benefits downtown Auburn.
“We feel we are the catalyst to the downtown redevelopment and expansion over the past six years,” Bob says. “Since our inception, there have been several new private business developments downtown that have helped create an investment area to save this downtown. There were several empty buildings when we started, and now the downtown area is coming back to life.”

Playing a critical role in revamping downtown Auburn has been rewarding, Bob adds.
“We are on a mission to be Northeast Indiana’s finest full-service steakhouse and we accomplish this one table at a time.”

To make a reservation, call (260) 333-7337 or visit auburncitysteakhouse.com.