The grill at Charleston's first Ruth's Chris Steak House will stay cool a little longer than expected.

The opening of the long-awaited restaurant has been pushed back to late January. The franchise co-owners originally hoped to be serving Charlestonians and tourists in the historic Charleston City Market area by Nov. 1.

"Though permitting/construction may still impact the actual date, our goal is to have the restaurant open by Monday, Jan. 26, at the latest," said franchise co-owner Nancy Oswald.

The high-end steak house going into the French Quarter Inn at 166 Church St. also will take over the entire Harley-Davidson retail space at 57 S. Market St., instead of half of the shop as previously announced, Oswald said.

The Market Street entrance will lead to the bar and bar dining. The space formerly occupied by the bar at what was Tristan's restaurant will be used for private dining rooms.

Nancy Oswald and her husband, Mark, bought the Ruth's Chris franchise for Charleston in 2010, but hesitated to open until they found the ideal location on the peninsula.

In May, they announced a partnership with Jay Keenan and Batson Hewitt, who own the space near the City Market. They also will partner with Charlestowne Hotels, which manages the French Quarter Inn.

The new Ruth's Chris will serve as the food provider for both the French Quarter Inn and the new 41-room Spectator Hotel at 71 State St., which is under construction.

The Oswalds also own the franchise to existing Ruth's Chris restaurants in Myrtle Beach, Columbia and Greenville and others out of state.

There are about 150 restaurants around the world in the Ruth's Chris Hospitality Group, which includes Ruth's Chris Steak House, Mitchell's Fish Market, Mitchell's Steakhouse and Cameron's Steakhouse.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524 or